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Being Smart When It Comes To Excercise

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Coming out of winter with travel and social distancing guidelines in place is certain to make many of us a little “stir crazy”.   With the first sign of sun, it’s tempting to jump into some types of physical activities such as a biking, running, weights, rollerblading, etc.  If you’re out of practice or just picking up an activity, not being prepared  can lead to injury. 

More than 10 million people in the US suffer sports related injuries each year.  As many as 95 percent of those injuries are the result of minor trauma such as contusions, sprains and strains. Many of these sports injuries can be prevented through proper conditioning and training, using the proper equipment, and wearing appropriate protective gear.

For the less athletic minded, performing tasks around the house may be the focus during their at home time.   These activities too can sometimes lead to injuries. Activities such as cleaning out gutters, painting, cleaning-up the yard, getting gardens and flower beds cleaned up, planting, and generally sprucing up homes and yards are all prime candidates for potential injury if not performed safely.

Before you undertake any activities, make sure you’re healthy.  Hopefully, you’ve have your annual physical already.  If not, you may want to consider holding off on any strenuous activities until the health crisis has abated and you can see your doctor.

If it has been a while since you have been active, ease back into your activities slowly to reduce the risk of injury. Start out with light exercise like walking, gradually increasing the intensity level before starting a new, more physically-taxing activity.

Wear appropriate protective gear, particularly a helmet if you are cycling or rollerblading, Wearing a helmet during these activities can reduce your risk of death up to 60 percent in the event of an accident. Other types of protective gear can include elbow, knee, and wrist guards, knee pads, and eye protection.

Take your trainer’s or high school coach’s admonitions to warm up and stretch prior to engaging in strenuous sports activities. Many sports injuries are the result of failure to stretch and warm up, so use a low-level activity like jumping jacks to warm up your muscles, then do a series of stretches which will improve your blood circulation and increase flexibility.

Make sure you are using proper techniques for the sport in which you are engaging.

Take regular breaks during your physical activities and drink plenty of water or other liquids. Staying hydrated helps the heart pump blood more easily, and helps your muscles work more efficiently. In fact, the American Heart Association says that for every pound of sweat you lose, you must drink a pint of water to restore those lost fluids.

If you are injured, do not continue the activity you were engaged in. No matter what you have heard about “playing through the pain,” this is never a good idea, and could result in a more severe injury or a chronic health problem. If you do injure yourself, remember the RICE approach to injuries: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

If you are injured, give yourself time to recover, and even if you are not injured, take a break from your activity for at least one or two days per week. This will give your muscles the necessary time to repair themselves. Those who do not take rest periods can find themselves dealing with chronic or repetitive injuries.

Sensible planning is a big part of being healthy.

If you or a loved one are injured due someone’s negligence, call us.  For over 40 years, we have provided personal, one on one, service to our clients to ensure they get the compensation and justice they deserve.