Gilbert PT July 2017

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www.GilbertPT.com July 2017

The Gilbert Gazette

Staying Injury-Free

W ith everyone getting more avoid injury. The most important things to do are to warm up properly and strength train properly to build up the deficits in your body. Warming up before physical activity is necessary because our body can’t go from zero to 60 instantly. A lot of us are weekend warriors. We sit at a desk all week in a sedentary state, then rush outside on the weekend to dive into physical activity. This can be a recipe for injury if you don’t take the time to warm up properly. active in the summer, a lot of people ask me how they can

the development of certain muscles and doesn’t promote growth in other muscles. By strength training and cross- training, you can build up your weaker muscles to provide more balance to your body from a biomechanical standpoint. Warming up and stretching prevents more injury than anything else. Stretching also promotes flexibility as you age. If you don’t warm up, stretch, and incorporate physical activity into your life, you’re more likely to become stiff and lose strength as you age. One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing people walk into a gym, walk up to a treadmill, and just start exercising at full speed without warming up and stretching first. While everyone is different, we generally recommend stretching your quad muscles and hamstrings before hopping on the treadmill. We tell patients to hold each stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds at a time and do three repetitions of the stretch on each side before moving on, so they spend adequate time

stretching. If you need advice on specific stretches for your favorite physical activity, please come see us. We’re happy to provide stretches that are specific to you. But how can you tell if you are already injured? Well, if you’re seeing a change in the way you would normally do your activity — for example, if you’re used to running for 30 minutes, but you start to hurt halfway in and you stop to do something else, or if you’re compensating for pain by changing your normal activities — you should go see your physical therapist. The answer isn’t eliminating or stopping the activity, it’s about shoring up your body’s deficits so you can enjoy your favorite activities again.

“Warming up and stretching prevents more injury than anything else.”

Along the same lines, if you haven’t been running or biking all winter, you can’t just pop out and do a 30-mile bike ride or a 5-mile run immediately. You have to start small and increase the duration and intensity of your sport gradually.

After warming up, you should also make sure to properly strength train. Every sport encourages

– Michael M Gilbert, DPT

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