Many people, myself included, want to live healthier and more active lifestyles. Exercise is often the first step towards this goal, but many people end up in my exam chair with injuries. Since exercise is such a popular New Year’s Resolution, as well as something that is important in my life, I find it imperative to discuss ways to prevent injury while exercising. Here are a few simple tips to help keep you moving so you can meet your goals.
Warming up your body before exercise is essential. You must prepare your body for the intensity of the activities to be performed. One of the best ways to do this is through dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching actively tightens your muscles and moves your joints through their full range of motion, which in turn will increase your muscle temperature and decrease muscle stiffness. This will allow your body to be able to handle strenuous activity with a reduced risk of injury. Some examples of dynamic stretching include:
- Arm Circles
- Shoulder Twist
- Side Shuffle
- High Knees
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is a good place to start!
Wear Supportive Shoes
If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times. Wear supportive shoes! Many of the injuries I see are because of improper shoe gear. Just think about it. During your workout, your feet are going to support you through numerous high-impact exercises. Without the proper support during these high-impact times, injury is inevitable.
The most important quality to look for when buying shoes is flexibility. Not all tennis shoes are made alike. You want to make sure that your shoes do not bend and flex, so be sure to test it out. If you can roll up the shoe like a burrito, it is time to upgrade.
My favorite tennis shoe is a Brooks Ghost, but Asics and New Balance are also good options when choosing a tennis shoe. For more details on how to pick out the proper shoes, check out my YouTube channel.
Okay, this one seems pretty obvious, but it is one of the most important. Proper hydration is what allows your muscles to perform at their best. Lack of hydration can lead to muscles cramps and strains, which can be extremely uncomfortable at best. I love using hydration tablets to stay hydrated throughout my workout. You can find some of my favorite ones here.
I hope these three simple tips helps get you on the right foot towards your goals! If you have recently sustained a foot injury, I have just what you need to keep you active. I have designed a modified fitness program that will allow your foot the time it needs to heal while keeping you on track to your wellness goals. The program is launching soon so stay tuned!