By Molly Smeltzer, Advocate BroMenn Health & Fitness Center
As we start another new year, many people find themselves gathering up the willpower for a new set of New Year’s resolutions. If you are in the large percentage of people whose New Year’s resolution involves getting healthier or starting a new workout routine, make sure your resolution is not going to waste your money or cause you pain. Injuries from exercise and exercise equipment sent over 400,000 people to the emergency room last year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Doctors and physical therapists say they often see patients during the early part of the year with injuries, some of them serious, stemming from a New Year’s resolution to start an exercise program. Not only can such injuries sabotage any sort of exercise regimen, they can lead to expensive medical bills and may waste the money spent on a gym membership or new exercise equipment. So, how can you prevent exercise related injuries, get the most value from money spent on accomplishing your exercise goal, and most importantly, stay on track so that your resolution becomes your routine for the rest of the year? Here are a few strategies to keep that resolution going long after everyone else has given up.
Ask for help. Take advantage of the benefits a health coach or personal trainer can offer. A health coach will help you set up realistic goals, work through barriers, and assist you in choosing the right steps on your wellness journey. Personal trainers offer external motivation, keep you accountable, focus on your safety, and will educate you on how to exercise most efficiently towards your specific goals.
Ease in. Doctors say the best course to avoid injury is to ease, instead of diving, into a new exercise routine. It is better to err on the side of too easy and then slowly progress to longer distances, heavier weights, and more-advanced classes.
Warm-up. Warming-up helps to enhance blood flow towards the muscles, which reduces muscle stiffness. It also improves performance quality and lowers your risk of injury. A warm-up may include exercises such as walking, biking, or dynamic stretching.
Vary exercise. If you plan to exercise multiple times a week, try different exercises. This will lessen the risk of an overuse injury and will also allow your muscles to rest and recover.
Listen to your body. After a new workout, it is common to feel muscle soreness within 48 hours. If you feel pain sooner, or the soreness is in the joint rather than the muscles, that is a typical sign that something is not right. There are a couple of basic rules to remember when dealing with aches and pains. If the pain changes the way you move, get it checked out. For example, if the ache in your shoulder changes the way you put on your coat or lift your child, or if the ache in your knee changes the way you walk, go to the doctor. Secondly, if an ache or pain persists for more than a few days, causes swelling in a joint, or limits the way you move, get it looked at by a doctor so you can make a plan that allows you to stick with your fitness program while addressing the ache or pain.
Workout with a friend or family member. To stay motivated as you’re developing your fitness habit, make exercise a family affair. Studies show that friends and families maintain their commitment by working out together. This not only fosters better health, but also closer relationships, which helps to lower stress.
Keep moving. Last, but not least, just keep moving. The toughest part of starting any exercise routine is putting on your shoes! Move when it’s cold. Move when you’re tired. Move when you don’t want to get off the couch. Just keep moving!
Advocate BroMenn Health & Fitness Center is a medically based fitness facility, located at 1111 Trinity Lane in Bloomington. It is open to anyone, seven days a week, with exercise professionals on staff at all times. The Center includes a warm water hydrotherapy pool, lap pool, large variety of group classes, a 1/12-mile track, dietician services, and group weight management classes. For more information, contact them at 309-433-WELL (9355) or advocatehealthfitness.com.Back to Top
The information provided on Healthycellsmagazine.com is provided by the
cooperative efforts among health and fitness professionals in each
respective community. This information is not a substitute for medical
attention. See your healthcare professional for medical advice and
treatment. The opinions, statements, and claims expressed by the
columnists, advertisers, and contributors to Healthycellsmagazine.com
are not necessarily those of the editors or publisher. All information
on this website is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without written
permission from Limelight Communications, Inc.