The weather’s getting a little warmer and the song of the bright yellow goldfinch is calling. If you’re thinking about a workout outside in the beautiful spring weather, we applaud you. Exercise reduces stress, keeps us strong and agile, and maintains good cardiovascular health.
If it’s been a while since you worked out, it’s worth taking time out to remember how to do it safely. Help prevent injury to bones, muscles, and joints by following these six guidelines:
- Get the right shoes.
Different activities call for very different shoes. A basketball shoe isn’t interchangeable with a running shoe. The kind of moves you make during both of these sports is very different, and the modern athletic shoe takes those moves into account, with the proper support in the right places.
- Don’t skip the warm-up or the cool down.
Take a few minutes to move around (jog in place, walk in some small circles) and stretch before you begin a workout. Asking cold muscles to perform at top speed or intensity can easily end in injury. Bring your heart rate down safely with a few minutes of cool down time at the end of your workout.
- Start out slowly.
When you’re just getting back into an activity, don’t try to do too much too soon. Use light weights, modify your movements, and get a refresher course on how to use good form. Consult a personal trainer if necessary.
- Add some variety.
Don’t work the same body parts all the time. Rotating between swimming, biking, running, and walking keeps it interesting and safe.
- Stay fueled.
Replace sweat by drinking plenty of water. Eat carbohydrates to keep up your energy and protein to repair muscles.
- Remember to take a break.
Your body needs time to recover from the normal stresses of exercise. Rest days are an important part of your workout regimen.
You might be a little stiff and sore after your first jog, hill climb, or tennis game. That’s okay. But soreness is one thing; pain that lasts more than a few days is another.
If you take all the proper precautions and still experience pain in your lower limbs, contact Affiliated Foot & Ankle Center. We’ve got years of experience here in Monmouth County treating sports injuries of the foot and ankle. Our board-certified podiatrists, Samantha Boyd, DPM, Hal Ornstein, DPM, and Joseph Saka, DPM can see you at one of our offices in Howell or Jackson, NJ. Call (732) 905-1110 or click here to make an appointment.