The first quarter of 2018 is about to come to a close. A great time to review the goals you have set for yourself—professionally, personally and physically. Why not take stock of what you have accomplished thus far since the New Year’s bell sounded.

The #1 New Years’ resolution among the general population is to eat healthier, lose weight and start a workout regimen. Many may have given up that the exercise routine long ago or perhaps never even started. But as the body begins to age, exercising becomes even more critical in order to avoid muscle stiffness, body aches, atrophy and other chronic conditions.

Committing to a time and paying attention to your work out routine to avoid injury will assist you in reaching your health goals. If you work from home, schedule a break to fit in your cardio and weight training at least 4 days per week.

But, be careful to not be over zealousness when beginning a work out regimen; muscle strains and sprains, tendonitis, knee injuries, shin splints, dislocated shoulders, and so on can occur if you are not careful. And once an injury occurs, it is that much more difficult to get back to the commitment of exercising, losing weight and adopting a healthier lifestyle.

Here are some great tips for avoiding workout injuries:
  • Be sure to warm up and cool down: This helps to avoid muscle strain by loosening the muscles. Riding a recumbent bike, jumping rope, walking around the neighborhood or track if you belong to a gym is a good way to start your workout. Cooling down is just as important as warming up, as it brings the heart rate back to its normal pace.
  • Stretch before and after: This increases flexibility. Lack of stretching is very often the cause of injury.
  • Take it slow: Especially if you have not exercised in a while, do not try to take on the world! Slowly build up your strength, resistance and stamina. Remember to respect your ability—you are not in competition.
  • Change it up: Make sure you vary your workout by cross training—use different muscles on different days. Consider swimming or using the bike or treadmill one a few days per week, lift weights 2 or 3 days per week and perhaps combine cardio and weight training 2 days per week.
  • Respect your trouble areas: Do not over do it if you have knee or shoulder issues, arthritis or heart problems. Always check with your doctor before you begin a program.
  • Don’t ignore your body when it ‘talks’ to you: Your body will usually tell you when it’s time to rest or stop for the day. Workout injuries will happen if you do not pay attention to this. Make sure you drink plenty of water to keep your muscles hydrated. Lack of water can cause muscles to cramp up.
And if you get hurt, remember to RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate.


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