The days are getting warmer, which means it is time to remove the winter layers and revive yourself with some exercise. Now is the best time to start your fitness regime and Premier physician and best-selling author Dr. Nick DiNubile has a few tips on how to stay safe and healthy when working out.
The 10% Rule
To avoid overuse injuries it is best to ease back into your activities, following the “10% rule.” Never increase your workouts more than 10% per week. This would include the amount of weight you lift, or the distance you run or cycle. This gives your body time to adjust and adapt to the new stresses and strains. Also be sure to warm up adequately before activity.
A Balanced Workout
Always try to include aerobic or cardiovascular work, strength training and flexibility- and don’t forget to include core strengthening. This prevents the imbalances that occur when athletes focus primarily on a single sport. It also improves overall fitness and performance, and lessens the risk of injury.
Nutrition is critical for athletes who want to reach peak performance. A healthy breakfast is most important as it provides fuel for the entire day. Also, after a hard workout, there is a brief window of opportunity for optimal recovery. Low-fat chocolate milk is an excellent choice for a post-workout snack as it provides the perfect balance of carbohydrates, fat and protein for muscle recovery.
Be sure to stay well hydrated and always wear all the appropriate protective gear for you sport or activity when applicable. And if something hurts, get it checked out sooner rather than later. We can often prevent minor issues from becoming more major problems with some simple measures.
Nicholas DiNubile, M.D.