It can be difficult to stay active during a long winter, and by the time spring rolls around, many of us are itching to get moving again. When the weather warms up, it’s time to take your workout back outside. With that in mind, here are some tips to consider as you get back into an exercise routine.
To prevent injury when starting to exercise again, it is important to recognize your limits. Heading into winter, you might have been able to run five miles easily, but after three months off, that number has likely dropped. Consider running fewer miles, exercising for a shorter period or time or giving yourself more rest days during your first few weeks back. Pushing yourself while exercising can lead to a great sense of accomplishment, but don’t let that motivation come at the expense of your health. Always pay attention to your body and talk to your doctor about any concerns.
Use your environment to your advantage.
While exercising outside, you might not have access to the same equipment or instruction as you would at a gym or workout studio. Rather than letting this keep you from exercising, use the change of circumstances to get creative or try something new. Missing the yoga studio? Do yoga outside and use the environment to ground your practice. Are you used to lifting at the gym? Try substituting a hike for leg day. Even something as simple as going for a walk can have significant health benefits. There are many ways to get a full workout in while soaking up the sun.
Talk to your doctor if you develop an orthopedic injury.
Many of us think of injuries as one-time traumatic events for our bodies, but this isn’t always the case. Overuse of a particular muscle group or repetitive motion can cause orthopedic injuries as well, so it is important to listen to your body as you begin exercising again. Often, overuse injuries can heal after a period of rest, but for older adults or those with conditions such as osteoporosis or osteoarthritis, this isn’t always the case.
Insufficiency fractures, or stress fractures, are a common overuse injury that can become chronic. If you develop pain that is not resolved after a period of rest, you might have a chronic insufficiency fracture. Make sure to schedule an appointment with your orthopedist, so they can diagnose your injury and help set you on a path to recovery.
There are new products like Tactoset that can help your chronic insufficiency fractures heal. Patients who receive Tactoset, a bone substitute injection, can typically weight-bear as tolerated three to five days after their minimally invasive procedure and then can expect seven to ten days of physical therapy before full recovery. Make the most of this spring and talk to your doctor about Tactoset to help you stay active.
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