Tips to Stay Fit in the New Year

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fitness equipment and healthy nutrition on white wooden plank floor

It’s a New Year, so it’s time for new resolutions, lifestyle changes and creating a healthier, more active you! Holiday indulging is over and now it’s time to step up the exercise routine and get moving.

Whether you’re heading back to gym or pounding the pavement outside, it’s important to keep in mind that common exercise injuries can happen, even to the most seasoned athlete. Muscle pulls and strains, sprained ankles, shoulder injuries, knee injuries, wrist sprain or dislocation are all common injuries that can happen during any routine workout.

How can I avoid a workout injury?

If you’re new to exercise, visit your doctor for a full check-up to make certain there are no issues which would limit your workout plans.

  • Whenever you exercise, don’t forget to warm up and cool down for at least 5 minutes before and after your routine. A warm up helps loosen your muscles and joints while slowly raising your heart rate. Stretching will increase your flexibility and help prevent muscle strain.
  • Wear protective gear. Bicycle helmets when bike riding on the open road, protective wrist and knee pads when in-line skating and reflective vests when walking, cycling or running at night are all important ways to ensure safe exercise.
  • If necessary, keep it low impact. Swimming, cycling and the elliptical machine are perfect low impact exercises for people with existing issues like knee or back pain.
  • Don’t push yourself too hard. Gradually building up intensity and frequency and remember that building strength and endurance happens over time.

What do I do if I think something is sprained or broken?

Don’t wait. Visit your local emergency room or hospital and visit a board certified physician. An x-ray will usually determine if a bone is broken. Beyond x-rays, a CT scan can also be used to determine if there are more serious injuries, such as cervical (neck) fractures, head injuries, broken ribs or internal injuries, like liver or spleen lacerations, which could require surgery.

If it’s just a sprain, how long before I can work out again?

Sprains can take anywhere from 4 weeks to 6 months to heal, depending on how severe the sprain. Typically, a soft cast or a boot is worn to protect the ligaments and allow the injury time to heal. Your physician will discuss your recovery with you and likely recommend you see an orthopedic specialist, to monitor your recovery and potentially recommend physical therapy exercise to regain strength and mobility.

Keep Moving.

The most important thing to remember about physical activity is to try and incorporate it into your everyday routine. Even if you don’t have time for the gym or a long walk, little segments of exercise can be just as beneficial.

  • Park far away from the store and walking briskly several minutes to get to the entrance.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Set aside 10 minute to use hand weights or elastic bands for strength building.
  • Jump rope for five minutes twice a day.
  • Take the dog for a walk around the block.
  • Play soccer or basketball with your kids for 15 minutes and teach them the benefits of an active lifestyle.

The benefits of exercise are clear: regular activity will help you live longer!  Regular exercise increases energy levels, strengthens muscles and bones, improves mental clarity and mood, can reduce the risk of chronic disease, helps control weight and helps reduce the risk of some cancers. So, get moving and set 2018 off on the right (and left) foot!

Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on The Colony Emergency Room Hospital or any one of our concierge-level, freestanding emergency facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.