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Get Fit… but warm up first!

Athletes stretchingSo, the sun is shining, and I am starting to think about spending more time out and about.   If you are anything like me, winter has been a good excuse to avoid going running, far too cold!

Build up slowly

If you haven’t exercised for a long time you’ll need to start slowly with walking 3 times a week, and gradually build up to jogging, before going out for a serious run.  Before embarking on training sessions it is essential to ensure that you’ve warmed up muscles properly. The last thing you need is to injure yourself before you’ve begun.

Warming up

The most common causes of exercise related injuries are strains and sprains due to inadequate preparation. Stretching out well before starting to exercise is key to avoiding injury, but cooling down afterwards is just as important.  Ensuring you are adequately hydrated is also crucial. The first week of any new exercise plan is the one where injury is most likely.

Sprains and Strains

In the event that muscles do get strained, remember the following:

You’ll have to pay the PRICE and avoid further HARM.

PRICE stands for:

  • -Protect the the part from further injury
  • R – Rest the injury
  • IC – Ice- apply a cold pack to the area to reduce bruising and swelling for a minimum of 10 minutes.  Then allow the skin to come back up to temperature before reapplying if necessary. Always wrap the ice pack in a cloth so the ice doesn’t come in direct contact with the skin. This action will help with pain control.
  • E – Elevate the injured part to reduce the swelling.

Avoid further harm

Make sure you avoid further harm by:

  • not applying heat, as this will cause the bleeding and bruising to get worse for at least 72 hours.  After that time a little heat may help soothe matters.
  • Avoid alcohol as this may increase bleeding
  • Avoid Running or other forms of exercise for a few days.
  • Avoid Massage for at least 72 hours as it may cause more damage to the area.

Visit our FAQ pages for more information on sprains and strains.

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