Getting fit is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. For some, this may mean exercising for the first time. For others it might mean getting back to regular workouts after a break.
No matter your situation, you’ll need to take precautions as you ramp up your exercise routine. Remember – getting fit requires consistency – and that means staying healthy and injury free. Here are five tips to safely ease into an exercise routine:
- Avoid doing too much, too soon – It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking more always means better. But when starting a workout routine, this isn’t the case. Doing too much, too soon can lead to burnout and injuries. If you’re new to working out or getting back into it after a break, start with 30-minute workouts, two or three times a week. Then gradually increase the length and frequency of your workouts as your fitness improves.
- Start your workout with a quick warm-up and stretching – Taking 5-10 minutes to warm up and stretch prepares your body for the workout ahead and makes it less prone to injury.
- Use proper technique and appropriate equipment – Proper technique is key for avoiding injuries. If you’re not sure how to do an exercise or how to use a piece of equipment, talk to a personal trainer. He or she can help you and provide exercises that are appropriate for your fitness level.
- Vary your workouts – Avoid doing the same exercises and working the same muscle groups every time you workout. Instead, alternate which muscle groups you work on. Changing the workouts you do can also help you stay motivated. If you usually run on a treadmill, switch things up now and then with a virtual group exercise class.
- Don’t push through pain – If something doesn’t feel right, stop what you’re doing. Pushing through pain can lead to a more significant injury. This is also a good time to mention how important it is to take rest days to allow your body to recover. At least one day a week, take a day off or only do light exercise, such as walking.
Have additional questions about starting a workout routine? Contact Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness to schedule an appointment with a personal trainer. If you’re starting an exercise routine after recovering from an injury, our sports medicine team can help you ease back into things and get back in the game. You can request an appointment online or call 630-527-6363.
Make an Appointment Online