It’s almost the New Year which means many of us are thinking about stepping up or restarting our workout routines. Before you hit the gym or running trails, I’d like to share a story and a few tips to keep you moving all year long – preventing those pesky injuries that knock us off our game.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Al at the YMCA. I call him Bendy Al because he can do the splits and lay his body flat on the floor… At 62 years old!
In our first conversation, Al told me a story about his last trip to New Orleans; while in a crowd watching the parade he found himself suddenly on the ground. At first, Al thought the overweight man behind him fell on him. To his surprise, Al looked back to see it was a mid-size SUV. Thanks, in part, to his flexibility Al did not sustain any major injuries and just a few bumps and bruises.
A few tips to keep you bendy and injury free:
Workouts include a warm-up and cool-down. Simple movements such as marching in place, arm circles or light jogging can get you get your muscles ready for more intense exercise. Stretching! I tend to recommend warming up your muscles before stretching. Be sure to allot at least 5 minutes of your exercise time to stretch the upper and lower body, holding each stretch for 15-30 seconds. Know your body and be nice to it. If the exercise hurts, listen to your body and modify or stop that movement. Some discomfort is expected. It takes time (and maybe a couple ibuprofen!) to learn how to distinguish. Ease into the program. If you’ve completed p90x or Insanity you are amazing! Those are intense workout programs and not something I would recommend to people just starting or restarting an exercise routine.
Food for thought: Whether you’re thinking about getting active or amping up your workout routine I highly encourage including the tips from above.
Here’s your chance to write down your action plan! How will you be moving this week?