Those who are physically active or regular exercisers can reap the many benefits that working out has to offer. You will feel good, look good, and most importantly, be the healthiest version of you! It’s great that you’re even thinking about exercising, though, it’s important to remember that the time put into those activities would be much more beneficial if the exercises are performed safely. If safety is not a top priority, then injuries are likely to arise. Injuries happen when we least expect them to, and if we don’t know we’re doing an exercise incorrectly, we can’t prevent injury from occurring. If you are injury prone or just want to avoid any major setbacks, here are a few tips to protect yourself while working out:
1. Modify exercises
Try to avoid high impact movements such as jumping and running – resort to more low impact movements. This will protect your joints and prevent that sore, achy feeling you might experience from performing high impact moves. For example, if you want to reduce the pressure and stress off the back and shoulders when doing a standard pushup, replace it with a knee or a wall push-up. Another example could be if you are trying to protect your knees when doing high knees in place, substitute that movement with a march in place. Watch the push-up modification video below for some quick ideas!
2. Go at your own pace
There is no need to exercise so intensely and vigorously. Start off slowly and gradually and work your way up to a higher pace of intensity (depending on your limitations, of course). Training too hard can cause more stress on the body and result in inflammation, stiffness, soreness, or even flare-ups. If you haven’t exercised in a while, ease your way back in. Do not expect immediate results. For instance, if you haven’t run in a few months, immediately jogging seven miles probably isn’t the best idea. Start with a mile and build from there, consistency is key in making progress.
3. Listen to your body
Our bodies are always trying to tell us something. Hold back on exercise if you feel sick of faint. Also, discontinue if you are suffering from persistent aches and pains in your joints. You may have to try a few different activities before finding the right fit for you. Our highly trained Exercise Physiology staff is happy to help you discover what works best.
For more information on health and wellness programs at Dedham Health, visit our website!
–TiKi W., Exercise Physiologist at Dedham Health