Spring Back Into Your Exercise Program
After a long, lazy winter, the key is to start off slow.
Preventing Pain and Strains continued...
"The most common injury we see is muscle soreness,"
Crites says. "A person will come in and say, 'I hurt here,' and it's
usually their muscles being sore from too much activity, too fast."
If you do overdo it, RICE -- Rest, Ice, Compression (with an
elastic bandage) and Elevation -- will usually help lessen the damage,
according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. In all but very mild
cases, a doctor should evaluate your injury and establish a treatment and
rehabilitation plan, if necessary.
"If muscle pain lingers on for more than two weeks, or gets
progressively worse, then they should have it checked out," Crites
There's a lesson here: After you prepare your body for spring
sports, then spend the warm-weather months healthy and active, don't let it all
go to waste by hibernating next winter. Stay strong for the next warm-weather
sports season, so you don't have to start that exercise program all over
"First, you have to accept the fact that it is better to
exercise on a daily basis every day of the year -- no matter how cold it is
outside," Davis says. "The body can maintain a good level of
conditioning year round if you practice a reasonable level of exercise. If you
really don't want to go outside during winter, a stretching program is a good
idea, or try a stationary bike or some form of home equipment, or join a health
And next spring? That exercise program will be second