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Effective ways to avoid injuries

As the weather warms and beckons us outdoors, our exercise options dramatically increase. However, before starting any new exercise program, you need to prepare for it if you want to stay injury free.

The first step to avoiding injury is to warm-up at the start and cool-down at the end of your exercise program. Remember to gradually build up your level of activity. The goal is to increase the intensity and length of your program as it becomes too easy for you – do not increase both on the same day.

Preparing for your exercise session should also include proper hydration and diet. Eating well, along with drinking plenty of fluids – before, during and after activity, will ensure you have enough energy for your session.

Injury prevention also focuses on using the proper equipment for your activity. If you're rollerblading, your gear should include knee and wrist guards, as well as a helmet. If your plan is to run or walk, be sure to wear proper fitting shoes made specifically for your sport, activity and foot type; these will need to be replaced as they break down. Dress according to the environment. On cold or windy days, dress warmly and cover your skin. On hot, humid days, you may need to decrease the time you spend outdoors.

The most important thing to remember when starting a new exercise program is to listen to your body. If something hurts, you need to back off the activity. Slowly increase your exercising, when you feel better. It's always smart to check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen.

For additional questions on avoiding injuries, custom-fit shoe orthotics, or to schedule a Free Injury Evaluation, call the Aurora Sports Medicine Hotline™ at 414-219-7776 or 800-219-7776.