The first day of spring this year is March 20th – and based on the winter we have had many of us wish it would come even sooner. This time of the year comes with a flurry of activity – spring cleaning, yard work, rounds of golf, the Reds Opening Day, and a new season of youth sports – like baseball, softball, track, and lacrosse. This burst of activity usually means an influx of visits to local ER’s and Urgent Care Centers as people, in all their excitement, overdue it too soon and too fast. Why? Because people, both young and old, do not take the time necessary to prepare their bodies for this increase in physical activity. Failure to plan means planning to fail, and beginning your spring with an injury is not what anyone wants.
Our goal with this blog post is to help reduce your chance of an injury due to overexertion or lack of a proper foundation. We want to ensure that you and your family have a happy and healthy spring where everyone is active, fit, and well. So here are 8 tips to help you get fit and avoid injury this spring:
- “The 10% Rule” – One of the biggest causes of injury is due to increasing the intensity, duration, or type of activity too quickly. To avoid this pitfall, fitness experts recommend the 10% Rule which sets a limit to your weekly training schedule. Simply put, you should increase your activity no more than 10% per week. For example, if you have been running 5 miles and want to increase to 10 miles, you would add a 1/2 mile to your 5 mile run that first week.
- Schedule – Three times per week is the ideal when starting any exercise regiment or new physical activity. Going overboard because of the warmer weather will significantly increase the likelihood of injury – stick to that schedule.
- Proper Safety Gear – Spring is the perfect time to check the status of all the gear you use to exercise, whether you are a cyclist, runner, or tennis player. Ensuring that the equipment is in no way compromised due to age or simple wear and tear can save you in the long run should you have an accident.
- Hydration – With a majority of our body made up of water, it is imperative that we keep our body fully hydrated especially before, during, and after exercise. Our daily consumption of water should be at least 13 cups for men and 9 cups for women, and more if we drink soda or coffee.
- Stretching – Giving our body the time it needs to prepare for a workout is like taking the time to pack for a trip. We wouldn’t think of just taking off without all the essentials we will need for our time away. Stretching is the essential to a successful workout.
- Team Up – Start looking for friends or co-workers who are interested in getting fit this spring and begin together. Having work-out or fitness partners will keep you accountable and make it more fun.
- Sunscreen – Being outdoors means more exposure to the harmful rays of the sun. Make sure you have adequate coverage to protect you, like a hat and sunglasses, plus sunscreen for the other vulnerable areas of your body.
- Music – Do some spring cleaning with your playlist of music. Great tunes have an incredible ability to motivate us even more.
Are you ready to get fit this spring?