Starting a New Activity or Workout? Here’s How to do It Safely

Whether you’re one of the thousands spending the pandemic trying to bake sourdough bread, finally organize your junk drawers, or binge watching new shows on TV, plenty of us are concerned with staying both active and healthy. People are turning to both indoor and outdoor exercise, depending on their location, fitness level, and interests – and it’s important to remember some key tips so you don’t end up with an injury while enjoying your new workout: 

  1. Practice Good Form: From weight lifting to running to following a dance video in your living room, the way you move is as important (or maybe even more so) than what you’re doing. For example, if you lift weights with poor form you can injure yourself very quickly. If you’re new to an activity, watch some experts first. If movements feel awkward or painful, that’s a clue that you might not be doing it quite right. If you’re struggling with form, a physical therapist is an ideal resource to help you learn how to move properly and safely.
  1. Plan a Rest Day: No matter how active you become, your body will perform better if you give yourself time to rest and recover. Build a rest day into your schedule – especially if you’ve had a really intense or extended workout session one day, or if you’ve worked out multiple days in a row.
  1. Be a Beginner: Remember, even the best professional was once a beginner, too! In your enthusiasm to get really good at your new hobby, don’t forget that you don’t have to learn it all your first time. Give yourself permission to look silly, have fun, experiment, and learn.
  1. Don’t Overdo It: After doing a workout for the first time, you may notice delayed-onset-muscle soreness or DOMS. You may be sore hours or a day or so after your workout. Your DOMS can be even more pronounced if you push too hard or do more than you’re used to – or use muscles you haven’t in awhile. Unfortunately, overdoing it also increases your risk of injury. Try to stay within your fitness level limits. You can gradually increase your workouts as your ability and fitness improves.
  1. Warm Up/Cool Down: Jumping into a workout without warming up can risk injury, and stopping suddenly without cooling down can also be detrimental. Try to allow a short period both before and after your work out to give your body time to transition into and out of activity. Incorporates gentle stretching, using the muscles and body parts you’ll use in your activity.

Did you get injured despite your best efforts? Are you having trouble being as active as you’d like? Are you limited by old injuries or pain? The expert team at Body One Physical Therapy is ready to get you moving in the right direction and feeling better fast. We’re locally-owned and operated, with three locations serving Central Indianapolis: North Indy/Carmel, Fishers, and Zionsville. Don’t let life hand you limits, call Body One today to get started living your best life!