Healthy Living, Tips and Tricks

Safety tips for getting back into shape

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The post as seen in the Smiley360 January Newsletter. I was given the spot of Blogger of the month! If you are not a member of Smiley360 yet then you are missing out on getting sent some fabulous products to review. Head to Smiley360 to register for free!

New Year’s Resolutions! Do you have one? The most popular resolutions are diets and getting in shape. The New Year is a good time to get motivated-you have ate more last month then you have any other month due to the Holidays and January is a month that many fitness clubs have their best membership deals! I love to run and when I cannot run, I am working out at home. So I maintain my motivation on and off all year. If you are starting new with a fitness regimen or restarting after some time off, you may find yourself sore and you can possibly injure yourself if you try too hard to be that fitness Hero! I can write a 10,000 word post and still keep talking about all the hazards and maintenance that comes with keeping your muscles and joints protected as you workout and condition them. I won’t do that, instead I will take all I know and have learned and sum it up in a way that no matter how conditioned you are or not it will apply to everyone!

Have a plan
Whether you hit the gym or workout at home, have a plan! Why? There are a few reasons. If you start out as a new walker/runner, it is always safe to just text someone or let family know your anticipated route and when you leave and that is for general safety reasons. Before you start a regimen, shop for clothing that is not too loose and is a reflective color especially if you will be hitting the roads to run. The loose clothing can be a hazard on gym equipment and you can easily get clothing caught up inside and cause you an injury or fall. The other reason to having a plan is so you already know exactly what circuit you will do that workout. You Tube a few how-to videos on stretches or workouts you are unfamiliar with. There are right ways and very wrong ways to stretch that could leave you injured and watching a short video will ensure you keep correct positioning. A plan also helps you keep organized so you have a complete workout and avoid spending too much time on one area of your body which can leave you sore the next day or two and it is hard to stay consistent when you overdid it the days prior and are hurting!

Perhaps this should be rule #1! The most important and never-should-be-forgotten rule is to stretch. Stretch during and after a workout! Why? Once your body/muscles are warmed up a bit, stretching is known to improve and strengthen your endurance. Gentle stretches as overdoing it can cause stretch reflex. By stretching, you are able to stop a moment and focus. Take deep breaths and feel your body’s pains and tightness. The areas you are working on and any tightening you feel will need the stretching. After a workout, stretching helps ease pain for me. This is not a proven fact, but I sure can tell the difference when I do vs. do not stretch after a workout! Avoid stretching before a workout, it is best to wait until after the warm-up when your muscles have more elasticity.

If you are drinking enough water throughout the day then during a workout is not necessary unless you are outdoors on a hot day. The best way to judge your hydration is paying attention to your urine. Light colored urine would indicate hydration and dark/odorous urine suggests you ought to drink a glass or two of water about 30-60 minutes prior to your workout. You do sweat in a workout, but if you are indoors or out on a mild day, you do not loose so much fluid in your sweat that would make it necessary to interrupt your workout with a water break unless you prefer. Hydrate before and after the workout to avoid dehydration and enhance your bodies ability to keep up in endurance.

Sore muscles
Shin Splints: Did you wake up and suddenly feel so much pain in your shins you can hardly stand. Try walking down stairs-the worst with shin splints! I stopped running a few weeks ago due to a nasty chest cold and when I started back up, I ended up with shin splints that took me over a week (typical) to heal. If your shins or arms get sore after a workout then remember RICE! Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation! You can have some athletic tape (KTTape or Dynamic Tape) in the house so you are ready to wrap those sore limbs. Most joint tapes you buy will have a website with how-to videos so you wrap your leg/arm pain correctly! Icing several times a day for about 15-20 minutes and stretching a few times a day will help speed up shin splint healing.
Aches in your arch/feet: Again, ice will help tremendously. However, you can drastically cut the chance of foot pain down (especially if you already suffer from plantar fasciitis) by purchasing athletic insoles. I like Dr. Scholls Active Series. If you have significant pain, especially on the top of your foot, STOP exercising. Persistent sharp pain will need medical attention if only for an Xray to rule out small foot bone fractures that are common if you run on a hard surface or overdo yourself. Continuing to workout on sore feet may lead to fractures or new injuries like shin splints.

If you consider all of this and pay attention as you create a workout plan, then you can make sure you stay aware of your body’s needs as you workout. Know when to to stop so you can continue tomorrow. Do not try and be a workout Hero!

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9 thoughts on “Safety tips for getting back into shape”

  1. Wow, you really are an expert on fitness safety. I really want to get back on my bike again and take to the urban trails in my town, but its still a bit too cold for me. So I'll focus on doing what I can at home. Thanks for the advice!

  2. Great tips,especialy for newbies. I love running and wear a id bracelet for safety. I agree with there is always another day as over doing it can make things worse.

  3. LOL – my body is ready for me to start THINKING about exercising. I'm so out of shape that my doctors aren't even talking exercise – BUT – when I do get the ok, I'll be taking things very very slow.

  4. Thanks so much for your pointers! I've been trying to exercise more (some) and you've got great pointers.

    Thanks for celebrating the New Year at Seasonal Sundays.

    – The Tablescaper

  5. Thanks for the pointers! I am notorious for not remembering to stretch before or after a workout!! Eek! I need to start making a plan for getting back into shape… just had baby #2 almost 3 weeks ago. 🙂

  6. Great tips! Every year I said to my self, I need to start eating healthy and exercise, which I did last year, but once again I lost interest in doing it. Now after reading your tips, I will definitely have to start doing something for my health. Thank You.

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