November 20, 2017

Get Back into the Spring of Things

Exercise woman stretchingHow to prevent injury with exercise?

What is the proper way to begin an exercise program?

What is the proper way to stretch?

It has been a looong winter, and we know everyone is eager to get back outdoors as warmer weather approaches. With this in mind, we at Peak Performance want to remind you of a few injury prevention tips to keep you healthy while getting back into your favorite recreational activities and sports this year.

1. Put fitness first. We’re talking to you weekend warriors. (Yes you, who sit at the office all week, then hit the field, court or track WAY too hard when the weekend rolls around). This can be especially challenging coming out of the winter months when most of us have been cooped up inside and more sedentary than usual. Remember that being fit is the first step to being an athlete. While it’s great to stay active, do so consistently. Aim for 30 minutes of activity per day, most days of the week. Your body will thank you.

2. Warm up and cool down. You don’t have to spend a lot of time with these; just 5-8 minutes before and after a workout. An easy rule of thumb for warming up and cooling down is to do the activity you are about to perform at a reduced intensity. (E.g. walk slowly for a few minutes before you start a brisk walk, then repeat slow walking for a cool down). If you’re an athlete, try some dynamic stretching to warm up your muscles. Dynamic stretching involves repeated, but brief stretching of large muscle groups while you move. (E.g. standing knee to chest stretch, high kicks, lunges, and butt kicks). Sustained stretches that are held for 20-30 seconds should be performed as a cool down after your work out when the muscles are already warm.

3. Be mindful of your form. You are much more susceptible to injuring yourself if you are using improper exercise form. Think about the quality of your movements over speed and quantity of reps. Pay attention to your postural alignment, and keep exercises in ranges at which you can maintain good control. You may notice that your form worsens as you begin to feel fatigued. This is a sign that it’s time to take a rest break. Giving yourself just a few minutes of rest will typically allow your body to recover enough to resume your workout with proper form.

K. Collins

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