Five tips to avoid overdoing it with New Year’s fitness resolutions
Every year we see patients come into the clinic who had the best intentions with New Year’s resolutions to get in shape, but who, instead, end up injured. We’ve seen muscle strains, tendonitis, back injuries, and even tendon and muscle tears in people who overdo it with their fitness resolutions. So whether your plan is to run more, lift more, or do more yoga, here are some tips to reduce the likelihood that you will suffer a setback due to injury.
Make stretching part of your routine. Often, especially with running and weight lifting, people don’t plan an appropriate amount of time for stretching. You should allow enough time for a short, light stretch before exercise, and 5-10 minutes for more thorough stretching after your workout.
Ease into it. Trying to jump back into the same kind of workouts you did 10 years ago is a sure way to get hurt. Take it slow and gradually build up your workouts. This will give your body time to adjust to your new program.
Build a well rounded routine. Running, lifting weights or even yoga every day is not good for your body. If you tend to be a tighter, less flexible person, look to incorporate stretching into your regular routine. If you tend be more flexible, add some strength training. Building balance between strength and flexibility will help your body be more resilient and reduce your likelihood of injury.
Careful with group classes. Though group classes are a great way to work out because they are fun, motivating and reasonably priced, be careful when working out in the group setting. Especially around the new year, there tends to be a big influx in people signing up for these classes. If the trainer hasn’t assessed you, they may not know what exercises your body can and can’t do. Also, be careful if you have a competitive nature. The person next to you may be lifting a 60 pound dumbbell overhead, but that doesn’t mean you should too!
Get a movement assessment. Starting up a new fitness routine without a clear understanding of your specific deficits in strength, flexibility and balance will make your workouts less efficient and can lead to injury. Many personal trainers and all physical therapists are trained to assess your fundamental functional movements. Find a trainer or PT near you who offers movement screens. The small price in time and money you spend will pay off in the long run.
Happy New Year and good luck with your fitness goals!
If you have any questions or would like more information on setting up a movement screen please contact Greg at Complete Game Physical Therapy, 978-710-7204 or firstname.lastname@example.org.