Fitness

Tips for preventing the most common workout injuries

TAMPA, Fla. — If you started the year with a new fitness plan and you’ve stuck to it, you’re probably feeling pretty good. 

But, after a few months of regular working out, you might be feeling some aches and pains that are more than your usual soreness. It’s good to know what injuries are most common and how to prevent them.

Whether you’re in the gym, out for a run or hitting up the local boot camp, there’s always a risk of getting hurt. 

“We often see shoulder injuries, knee injuries and hip injuries are oftentimes the most common. We also can occasionally see wrist injuries as well,” USF Health professor Dr. Trey Remaley said.

When you’re on a roll, Remaley says these types of injuries can set you back for weeks. 

“On average they can miss anywhere from a couple weeks to 4 or 6 weeks or longer just depending on the severity of their injury,” he said.

Physical therapist Dr. Angela Stagliano says the most important thing for everyone to do before working out is to warm up with 5-10 minutes of light cardio. 

“Anything that will get your heart rate up, blood pressure up, a little bit of core temperature, loosens you up a little so you don’t feel so achy and so stiff and it reduces the risk of getting an injury as well,” Stagliano said. 

Then once you’ve done all the heavy lifting: “You need to make sure that you do something to cool down to kind of get your blood pressure down, your heart rate down and then on top of that you need to add stretching in,” she said.

She recommends two stretches at the end of every workout. One for the hip flexor and one to stretch your chest and back.

Both doctors say muscle soreness within 24-48 hours of a workout is normal, but if there’s pain keeping you up at night or keeping you from doing certain moves, then see a doctor. 

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