A Pain Free New Year :: Avoiding Sports and Fitness Injuries

While your holiday season is filled with festivities, an abundance of sugar cookies, and a few champagne toasts, the New Year and it’s always present resolution list will be lingering in the back of your mind. If you’re like 38% of Americans, your plan for 2015 involves losing weight and getting in shape. But, if it’s been a while since your last trip to the gym, it’s not a bad idea to brush off the rust and talk with your  physical therapist about ways to stay safe and avoid an injury while getting fit.

Visit any gym in January and you’ll be sure to find a bevy of ambitious fitness fanatics tackling the treadmills and lifting weights. By February, a lot of those go getters are singing a different tune. Did the ambition die off? Maybe. But a great deal of people actually lay off the program because they’ve developed a nagging pain, a sprained ankle, or a torn muscle. Approximately 460,000 injuries are caused by exercise and exercise equipment each year in the U.S. That’s more than double the entire population of Grand Rapids. Before you hop on the treadmill or attempt your first spinning class, you should exercise caution to avoid injury.

It’s ideal to come in before you begin a new fitness program in order to start out on the right foot and avoid injury. While we’re always here to provide excellent rehabilitation treatment, it’s better for everyone if we can assess, educate, and instruct you before you end up in pain.

A consultation with a physical therapist before starting a fitness program can help you to:
– Set realistic goals to see faster results, and so you don’t overextend yourself
– Become more mobile, flexible and stronger so you are able to tolerate exercise, thus allowing you to do more
– Look for any imbalance issues
– Learn the correct way to stretch, move, warm up; and know when to quit
– Provide treatment options for existing pain that could worsen with exercise, such as issues in the low back or knees

We plan our New Year’s Resolutions with the best of intentions but an unexpected injury can quickly halt not only our resolution, but life in general. With a focus on wellness, prevention and overall health, we’re helping you achieve your personal fitness goals in the safest and most effective way possible.

Since we’re already in to 2015 and direct access is in full effect, we will not require a physician’s referral and we welcome anyone interested in learning more about how to have a healthy, safe and injury free start to the new year.

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