As you ring in the new year, don’t forget to toast to a new and healthy you! If you are putting your health first in 2012, we’re guessing that you are prioritizing your committment to physical fitness, also. We would like to share a few tips to make fitness a safe and healthy part of your year.
You can find time to work out throughout your day if you just make a few changes in your life. Try setting your alarm for 30 minutes earlier a few days a week to fit in a walk or run around your neighborhood. That will give you an extra burst of energy that will last all day long. As you run errands, park in the furthest spot from the store and burn a few extra calories by going the distance. Turn TV time into stretching, lifting, or treadmill time. Many shows are available online as well so you can watch TV at the gym from your phone or laptop. Start new family traditions including a family walk after dinner, regular pick up sports game, or weekend hikes. Buddy up with someone to motivate each other, or invest in a personal trainer. Set small goals you can reach to boost your confidence.
Get off the sidelines and get involved in sports this year. You can join a town league, a pick-up game at the park, or gather up friends and family to start your own team. Always wear safety gear including helmets and mouth guards for any contact sports. If you get into skating or wheeled sports add knee and elbow padding. Always wear equipment that fits properly. Warm up and stretch before any sports participation. When you’re playing outside in the sun, apply sweat proof sunblock that blocks UVA and UVB rays with at least 15 SPF. Stay hydrated when you play sports. Pay attention to the weather and your surroundings. If there is a threat of lightning, put the game on hold and seek shelter. If you do get injured, see a doctor even for something minor. The risk of greater injury can be avoided by treating injuries properly the first time.
If you’re going to run intense workouts, play extreme sports, or maintain and renovate your home on the weekends, take special precautions to stay healthy and safe. For intense physical activities like marathon training, mountain biking, or scaling cliffs, always warm up properly to avoid breaks and tears. Rotator cuff problems, elbow or Achilles tendinitis, knee and hip arthritis, knee cartilage or ACL tears, and lower back pain are common injures of the weekend warrior. Prevent these injuries by maintaining a healthy weight, building up the joints and muscles slowly, use proper form, stopping when something hurts, and following doctor’s orders for injury recovery.
Medical Center Arlington has a professional sports medicine program to help you get on the right physical fitness track. Check out our website for tips and advice. To schedule an appointment with one of our sports medicine physicians for an evaluation, please call (817) 465-3241 or visit us online. We look forward to assisting you with your health and fitness goals so that you can achieve a new you in the new year!