GABRIEL STINSON: When the first signs of spring arrive, many of us are ready to abandon the couch and plow full-steam ahead into workout routines. However, if you're not prepared, this could lead to injuries. Three easy tips can help you safely transition back to an active exercise routine.
1. Ease back into activity.
For example, if you could bike 10 miles a day before winter, don't try to immediately resume your 10-mile rides when spring arrives. Take a common-sense approach and work up to it. Our bodies need time to adapt to the new activity level. With time, your body will remember what it's capable of and adapt very quickly.
2. Train for your activity. During spring and summer, many people join golf, volleyball and softball leagues. If you're one of them, make sure you train for that activity. For example, golfers need to work on core strength and stability; volleyball players need strong legs and a good jumping technique. Whatever your activity, you can avoid common injuries associated with that sport if you schedule time to train. Look at what repetitive motions are involved in your sport and strengthen the muscles used during those motions.
3. Rest. Days off from exercise are necessary for mental and physical recovery. Your mind and your muscles need to rest and recharge for activity. If you're one of those people who can't take a day off, at least take a break from your normal routine and try something else. If you're a runner, bike one day a week. Constantly play softball? Try basketball for a break. Taking days off or just changing the activity are great ways to avoid injury.
Gabriel Stinson, MS, PES, is a sports enhancement specialist at Memorial's SportsCare. This column was reprinted from Live Well magazine with permission from Memorial Health System.
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