Ease into Exercise to Avoid Injury

by on April 14th, 2011 at 12:00 am

With warmer spring weather upon us, many of us become motivated to rev up our exercise regimes. However, it’s important to not get too overzealous, which can lead to sore muscles, or even more serious setbacks like strains, sprains and other injuries.

According to one statistic, over 20 million Americans reported sports-related injuries in 2002. While the majority of injuries were considered minor (and included mishaps like scrapes and bruises), it’s still important to approach all exercise and recreational activities with a progression plan (and if you have existing health conditions or are over the age of 65, to seek the advice of your doctor).

For example, even a seasoned runner will likely need to learn the proper warm-up techniques and follow progressive training when beginning a biking routine, as different muscle groups are targeted. Similarly, someone accustomed to yoga will need some guidance when introducing weight training into his or her regime.

Regardless of your fitness level, it’s not uncommon to experience muscle cramps when you kick up the pace or start a new activity.  However, if muscle cramps are severe, occur often, or do not subside with time, it is advisable to consult a doctor, as they could be indicative of a more serious condition.

Tips to Help Relieve Muscle Cramps

  • Don’t do too much too soon! Overexertion is a leading contributor to muscle cramps.
  • Gently stretch and massage the cramping muscle holding it in stretched position until the cramp stops.
  • Apply heat packs to tense, tight muscles, or ice to sore, tender muscles.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids at regular intervals/
  • Increase your intake of calcium, magnesium and vitamin E supplements.

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One Response to “Ease into Exercise to Avoid Injury”

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