New Year’s exercise resolutions shouldn’t be a pain

With the New Year comes New Year’s resolutions, many of which are centered on exercising more. But with busy work schedules and family obligations keeping many of us from exercising during the week, the New Year often triggers the birth of new weekend warriors looking to squeeze a week’s worth of exercise into two days.

According to Tyler Collins, MD, a non-surgical, rehabilitative and sports medicine specialist with The CORE Institute, working out only once or twice a week puts a person at risk for injury.

“Injuries occur for a variety of reasons, including lack of proper warm up, poor conditioning, incorrect body mechanics when performing an activity, and a general lack of flexibility.”

She offers the following guidelines to help prevent weekend warrior injuries:

  • Maintain a regular and balanced exercise routine that includes the three basic components of exercise: routine cardiovascular activity, strength training and flexibility training.
  • Warm up before beginning the activity to help prevent injury to the muscles and tendons.

“Static stretching (holding a stretch for 30 seconds at a time) has proven ineffective in preventing injuries. Slow activity such as jogging and sport specific warm ups are more beneficial in preparing to body for activity and preventing injury.”

  • Don’t follow the “no pain, no gain” or “all or nothing” theories of exercise.

“Your intensity or activity level should be comfortable and should not be increased more than 10 percent each week. If you feel any sort of sharp pain or if you need to change your body mechanics in order to perform an activity, then the activity should be stopped to prevent injury.”

The New Year is a great time to launch new exercise and fitness goals, but it’s important to remember that even weekend warriors need to make some level of exercise a regular part of their weekday routine.