Many of us will be looking to hit the gym and control our weight as our New Year's resolution this year. Being motivated is key, but beginning your workouts gradually can be even more important when it comes to starting and keeping your gym time goals.
When starting a workout regimen, it is important to begin slowly. Trying to jump back into the same routine with the same amount of intensity as was done in the past can have a negative effect on your body. By gradually increasing your stamina and the length of your workouts, it will be easier to avoid overuse injuries such as stress fractures or tendons strains and sprains. Give your body some time to become acclimated before you decide to add on those extra laps in the pool or the heavier weights from the weight bench.
Another key to starting your new fitness routine gradually is being sure that you stretch before and after your workout. By doing so, you are helping prevent injuries to your body. Don't forget to stretch all areas of your body even if you are focusing on a specific area during that day's workout. Realsimple.com put together a stretching routine that is sure to make your muscles and tendons do the happy dance; next time you hit the gym, give these stretches a go:
Stretch 1: The Runner's Stretch
Step your right foot forward and lower into a lunge, placing your fingertips on the floor or on two firm cushions if your hands cannot reach to the floor.
Stretch 2: The Standing Side Stretch
Stand with your feet together and your arms straight overhead. Clasp your hands together, with your fingers interlaced and pointer fingers extended. Inhale as you reach upward.
Breathe out as your bend your upper body to the right. Take five slow breaths. Slowly return to the center. Repeat on the left side.
Stretch 3: The Forward Hang
Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and your knees slightly bent. Interlace your fingers behind your back. (If your hands don't touch, hold on to a dish towel.) Breathe in and straighten your arms to expand your chest. Exhale and bend at your waist, letting your hands stretch toward your head. Hold for five deep breaths.
Stretch 4: The Low Lunge Arch
Step your right foot forward into a lunge and lower your left knee onto the floor or a folded towel or blanket. Bring your arms in front of your right left and hook your thumbs together, palms facing the floor. Breathe in as you sweep your arms overhead, stretching as far back as is comfortable. Take five deep breaths. Switch sides.
Stretch 5: The Seated Back Twist
Sit on the floor with your legs straight. Bend your right knee and step your right foot over your left leg. Put your right hand on the floor, fingers pointing outward, for support. Bend your left elbow and turn to the right, placing the back of your arm against your right knee. Inhale as you sit tall. Breathe out as you twist, pressing your arm into your leg and looking over your right shoulder. Hold for five breaths, then slowly return to the center. Switch sides.
Stretch 6: The Bound Angle
Sit on the floor with your legs straight. Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together, letting your knees drop toward the ground. Hold your shins as you inhale and stretch your chest upward. Exhale as you hinge forward from your hips (without rounding your back) and place your palms on the ground. Hold for five slow breaths.
We at DM Foot & Ankle Associates love to see our patients succeed in all that they do. Your New Year's fitness goals are important to us too. We hope that you strive to keep the quality of your workout routine as the most important aspect. Remember to start your workouts gradually and always make stretching the first step in any of your workout routines to avoid harmful effects on your body. Hoping 2018 brings everyone much happiness and health, cheers to you from all of us here at DMFA!