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Peak Physical Therapy
Helping you every step of the way


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Getting Fit and Staying Fit, Injury Free

Congratulations!  The decision to start exercising or to step up your exercise routine in order to get fit is an important first step towards increased energy and a healthier life. Whether your plan involves sports, weight lifting or common activities like walking or gardening, now is the time to get out there and follow through with your plans.

We encourage you to maximize your potential by bearing in mind a few considerations important for all active individuals, no matter what age.

Don’t be too “gung-ho”.

Enthusiasm is great and is an important plus when it comes to keeping up your exercise routine, but trying to do too much too fast does not give your body a chance to get used to the increased activity. Define your goals and start slowly and work up to your goals gradually. This will give your muscles a chance to become accustomed to doing what you are asking them to do. They need to learn how to move in new ways and this takes some time. If you are unsure about how quickly to proceed toward your goals, feel free to make an appointment at the Peak Physical Therapy to discuss a workout plan.

Warm up.

Regardless of how experienced or inexperienced you are at a specific workout routine, your muscles always need to be warmed up before you begin to exercise. Studies show that warm ups significantly reduce your risk of injury. Warm ups can be as simple as walking followed by a few stretches. A warm up can focus on certain muscles if you will only be working certain body parts. In that case, it is important to understand which muscles you will be using during your work out. Then make sure your warm up gets them ready for action. Our therapists at Peak Physical Therapy can help you figure out what type of warm up will be easiest and most beneficial for the activities you are planning to do.

Give yourself a break.

When you first start a new exercise routine, it is very common to want to exercise every day. While it is great to encourage yourself to keep your exercise routine going, it is important to give yourself rest days and not over-exercise certain parts of your body. For example, if you really enjoy your new upper body workout, try not to concentrate on your arms every day. Not only will other parts get neglected, leaving you unbalanced, but you could also run the risk of doing serious injury to your arms by not allowing them to rest and strengthen between workouts. If you need help figuring out an appropriate schedule so that no parts of your body get overworked or injured, make an appointment at Peak Physical Therapy. We will help you plan around how muscles work so they get the rest that they need.

The right fuel is key.

Many people make the mistake of thinking that because they exercise they do not need to pay attention to what they are eating. People feel hungrier when they work out regularly, but this does not mean they should eat as much as they want. It is true that exercising will burn calories, but it is important to not eat extra calories if you want to decrease your body fat. Instead, maintain a steady caloric intake throughout the day by eating small, frequent, healthy meals packed with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. You may damage your muscles when you exercise and you need to understand how to strengthen them and help them repair from the damage that is a normal with increased activity. Everyone thinks about protein to strengthen muscles. Lean protein is important but do not forget that carbohydrates fuel the entire process. Try healthy but tasty alternatives like brown rice and whole wheat pasta. Drinking plenty of water and eating foods high in water, like fruits and vegetables, help to hydrate too. These are also great sources of vitamins and minerals, as well as natural sugars for energy. And unless you are exercising vigorously for more than an hour, a sports drink is not necessary to replace electrolytes; pure drinking water is sufficient. Many sports drinks are high in sugar and turning to those during a workout can cause you to replace more calories than were burned during the workout. Vitamins and antioxidants help repair and strengthen cells and tissue, and minerals replace those that are lost during strenuous activity. If you are unsure about the portion sizes or the best choices for you body with the new demands you are placing on it, come by the clinic for us to help you tailor your diet to match your level of activity.

Be informed.

You are not the first person who has recognized the importance of making exercise a more prominent part of their life. The decision to increase activity is common among people who want to live a healthier life. Unfortunately, injuries are also very common. You avoid injuries by following the simple tips above and making sure you exercise only as much as your body can handle. It is great to want to push yourself a little harder each day, but your whole plan can come to a halt in a moment if you become injured. Our therapists at Peak Physical Therapy can help you design a program that is realistic, fits into your life and gives you the lowest risk of injury. After all, you are making this change in your life to become fitter and healthier, not to injure yourself!

Exercise is key for staying healthy, and if done correctly can help prevent future injuries. Many people do not realize that we offer more than just assistance recovering after an injury. We are equipped to assist in helping people design and implement exercise plans that are right for them in order to minimize their risk of getting injured. We are trained to understand the way the body moves and works, and can advise you based on your body, health and lifestyle. Workout safely and get on the road to a healthier, longer life!

Relevant Studies:

Campbell AJ, Robertson MC, Gardner MM, Norton RN, Tilyard MW, Buchner DM. (1997) Randomised controlled trial of a general practice programme of home based exercise to prevent falls in elderly women. BMJ. 315:1065-1069.

Chevion S, Moran DS, Heled Y, Shani Y, Regev G, Abbou B, Berenshtein E, Stadtman ER, Epstein Y. (2003) Plasma antioxidant status and cell injury after severe physical exercise. Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences of the U S A. 100(9):5119-5123.

Safran MR, Garrett WE, Seaber AV, Glisson RR, Ribbeck BM. (1988) The role of warmup in muscular injury prevention. The American Journal of Sports Medicine. 16(2):123-129.

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