Warm Up to Fitness
Get off the couch, but do it safely.
Snow and frigid temperatures invite us to be active indoors until the spring thaw. Talk with your physician about which forms of exercise are safe and appropriate for you based on your age, medical history, and current level of physical activity.
“If you injure yourself while exercising, we are here to treat both serious and minor injuries. Most common exercise or sports injuries people sustain include muscle strains, bursitis, and tendonitis. These conditions can often be prevented by taking the time to stretch before and after a workout, getting proper nutrition, and staying hydrated. It’s also important to not overdo it—especially when you’re starting to exercise after not doing so for a while.”
—Oscar Vazquez, MD, orthopedic surgeon at HackensackUMC Mountainside
After you receive the all clear from your physician, keep these three tips in mind to avoid injury when getting physically active again:
- Be optimistic. Get into a good mental state as you prepare and make a plan.
- Stretch properly. Warm up before exercising and cool down afterward. This will enhance your performance and prevent injuries by improving the elasticity of your muscles, ligaments, and joints. Stretch to prevent lactic acid buildup in your muscles, which can cause aches and cramping.
- Take it slow. Start out with milder, shorter sets and work your way up to more intense, longer workouts. Going too hard too fast can result in bone, joint, or muscle injuries.
Recovery in Motion
The body is made to move. If you have an orthopedic injury or chronic joint pain, talk with your primary care provider. A prescription for physical therapy can help prevent or delay an orthopedic procedure as well as greatly enhance recovery after surgery.
“Prescribed exercise is your medicine,” says Joe Biland, PT, DPT, OCS, director of Rehabilitation Services at HackensackUMC Mountainside. “For orthopedic issues, physical therapy begins with muscle re-education, increasing range of motion, and strengthening joints. Then we focus on decreasing pain and increasing mobility. Our goal is to get patients moving as quickly and safely as possible following an injury so they can return to their pre-injury level of function and play.”
For more information about our physical therapy services, call Outpatient Rehabilitation Services at 973.429.6011.