The importance of exercise cannot be overemphasized. Whether you are an amateur athlete, a fitness buff, a weekend warrior, or someone who simply desires to maintain an active lifestyle, engaging in regular exercise is sure to pay dividends.
Below are some tips from our highly skilled sports medicine specialists here at Advanced Bone & Joint to help you reap the benefits of exercise for your mobility and overall health, so you can keep enjoying your freedom to do the things you love into your golden years.
Tip #1 Make Warming Up a Habit
Warm-ups are non-negotiable if you want to enhance your performance, stave off soreness, and prevent injury. They rev up your cardiovascular system, thereby boosting your blood flow, increasing your body temperature, and priming your muscles for your main routine. When your muscles get warm, they are able to move easily and are less likely to become stiff and sore.
Tip #2 Stay Adequately Hydrated
Staying hydrated is crucial for your athletic or exercise performance by helping lower your risk for muscle fatigue and injury. The fascia, which is the sheet of connective tissue that encloses your muscles is made up of 70 percent water. When you get dehydrated, your fascial planes can stick together, preventing easy gliding and movement and leading to pain and stiffness.
How much water you should drink in a day depends on your activity level, among other factors. Check with your doctor if you’re not sure as to the appropriate amount for you.
Tip #3 Be Consistent
Having a consistent workout regimen helps you effectively build flexibility, strength, and endurance, thereby equipping your body to better handle and adjust to the strains of physical activity. The more consistent you are, the less likely you are to experience fatigue, which is one of the culprits in overuse and acute injuries.
If you’re having a hard time starting and keeping a consistent workout schedule, find activities that you enjoy doing and give yourself a 30-day trial period to commit to them. To make it more enjoyable, do it with your loved ones or friends. Make the entire thing a conscious decision.
Tip #4 Get Enough Rest and Sleep
Paying attention to the signals your body puts across can help avoid overtraining. If you feel even the slightest ache, STOP and rest. If you’re an athlete, it is recommended that you take one week off after three weeks of training to give your body time to recover.
Similarly, a good night’s sleep is essential for ensuring excellent performance and health. Among other benefits, sleeping for seven to nine hours kicks up the production of growth hormones, which facilitate muscle growth; enable you to think clearly and do better during your physical activity; improve your mood; and help prevent weight gain.
Sports Medicine in St. Peters and O’Fallon, MO
At Advanced Bone & Joint, our sports medicine physicians go above and beyond providing top-notch medical care. As strong proponents of preventive care, we take a whole-body approach to helping physically active people effectively improve their strength and flexibility to lower their risk for injuries. We also believe in the importance of providing our patients with useful information to empower them to reach their full potential, enhance their overall health, and maintain their mobility throughout their lives.