How to Spring Back into Health the Smart Way
Want to Get Back in
Shape this Spring? Slow Is the Way to Go.
to begin running outside, hitting the golf course and beautifying your yard
again? Not so fast.
to Christopher Miles,
M.D., assistant professor of family and community medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and one
of the team physicians for Wake Forest University athletes, if you didn’t
participate in an activity over the winter, it is vital not to try to pick up
where you left off in the fall.
“The main thing to keep in mind when resuming any activity is the
importance of a slow progression,” said Miles.
Before you jump in full speed, Miles offers the following tips on
how to slowly get back in shape:
Stretching goes a long way: Stretching before and
especially after you exercise can improve flexibility and decrease risk of
injury. Hold stretches for 15-30 seconds, and be careful not to stretch too
intensely before your muscles are warm and ready.
Incorporate your core: Almost everything we do physically depends on a
strong core. Toned core muscles make movement easier and protect your spine.
Keep in mind that your core consists of much more than just your abs: lower
back, glutes and obliques, too.
Consistency is key: To build endurance and
strength, start out by exercising for short periods of time (at least 10
minutes), several days a week. As your workouts become less challenging,
gradually increase the duration, intensity and frequency.
Give your body time to acclimate: Let
your body ease into spring. A major part of this is appropriate hydration – at
least eight cups of water a day. Also consider building in time for a warm up
and cool down.
Mother Nature has her own plans: Before you head outdoors, check the forecast.
Storms, especially lightning, can be dangerous.
“Be patient with your
body,” said Miles. “Getting back in shape takes time, but if done right, you
can help prevent against excessive soreness and injury. That way you can spend
all season long doing all activities you love.”