It’s National Physical Therapy Month, so IFAST physical therapist, Bill Hartman has three tips to keep yourself injury free while working out! Here they are:
• Always warm-up before you exercise – You’ve probably heard this since you took gym class back in high school, but it may be one of the most important parts of your exercise program to keep you healthy. A proper warm-up raises body temperature to make producing energy easier, improves movement to prevent excessive joint or muscle strain, and prepares your nervous system for more intensive activities. Warm-ups are so important that at IFAST we say if you don’t have time to warm-up, you don’t have time to train with us.
• Avoid repeated flexion activities – Everyone who talks about exercise talks about abs. A lean strong six-pack is the most common sign for “being in shape.” Everyone is also likely to experience back pain if your train your abs incorrectly. The typical way many do sit-ups or stomach crunches is a great way to become a back pain patient. Bending the spine forward and backward repeatedly can progressively cause wear’n’tear on your spinal discs, much like bending a credit card back and forth will cause it to break. At IFAST, we teach countless abdominal exercises that actually protect the spine from such stress.
• Get in shape to run – Many folks still think that running is the best way to get in shape. While we love running for exercise, at IFAST we think you need to get in shape to run. Every time you push off your foot when running you absorb a force equal to five times your body weight. That means running requires not only a good pair of shoes, a strong heart and lungs, but strong muscles too. Insufficient preparation to run longer distances can quickly result in injury.