Tips for a Smarter, Injury-Free Workout - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

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Published on April 18, 2016

Tips for a Smarter, Injury-Free Workout

By David Coran, MD

Now that spring is in the air you may be may be tempted to up your workouts to get that summer body you've been dreaming about all winter. While it’s almost never a bad thing to give your workouts a boost, doing too much too soon or in the wrong way, can put you at risk for bone, muscle or joint-related injury.

If you’ve ever been injured, you know it’s not enjoyable. The pain, treatment and recovery time can last awhile - putting a hurdle in your exercise schedule. It’s a lot more effective to prevent orthopedic problems than to fix them once they occur with surgeries and long-term medications.

The good news is there is a lot you can do to prevent injury so you can stay fit and active throughout life.

How to Keep Your Exercise Routine Safe

Here are some suggestions to keep your exercise routines safe and enjoyable:

  • Everything in Moderation - Don’t jump into a new sport or amp up your fitness routine overnight. Begin slowly, and build up the duration and intensity in a gradual progression. Always warm up, stretch and cool down.
  • Build Your Core Muscles - If your core muscles are weak, you are far more prone to injuries from overuse or even simple activities like bending and lifting.
  • Make Posture Perfect - Whatever you’re doing, from jogging to sitting at your computer, it’s important that the natural curves of the upper, middle and lower spine are well aligned.
  • The Right Moves - Proper technique and good body mechanics are really important. Ask for advice from the gym staff before you’re feeling pain. It’s also important to know your body and listen to what it’s telling you. If you feel pain when you’re working out, stop or switch to a pain-free activity. Be as physically active as you can tolerate, but respect your body’s age and condition.
  • Mix It Up - Vary your workout routine to gain maximum physical benefit and avoid overuse injury. Include a good balance of cardiovascular exercise, strength and core training, weight-bearing activities and activities to improve flexibility and balance such as t’ai chi or yoga.

Be sure to talk with your doctor before beginning any fitness activities, especially if you have had previous orthopedic procedures or have a chronic condition such as arthritis, heart or pulmonary disease.

Additional Information

Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Services

Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Services



Tips for a Smarter, Injury-Free Workout