Maintaining an active lifestyle is important to staying healthy as we get older, but it is important to do it the right way to avoid injury. If you have had a recent sports or exercise-related injury, you are not alone. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reports that after the common cold, sports injuries are now the second most common reason why people visit their doctor. Baby boomers (age 49 to 67) are most affected by sports injuries. They tend to spend the week in the office and engage in intense physical activity on the weekends. If you are a weekend warrior, there are a few things you can do to avoid injury:
Listen to your body – Even if you exercise regularly, participating in activities that are at a higher level of intensity than usual can increase your risk of injury. Pay attention to your body and don’t be afraid to slow down if needed.
Warm up before working out – Warming up increases blood flow to muscles and flexibility. Taking just a few minutes to warm up before a workout can prevent painful injuries and costly medical expenses.
Spread out activity – Instead of cramming all of your activity into the weekend, try to find ways to fit moderate levels of activity into your weekly routine.
Wear safety equipment – Whether you are playing backyard football, riding a bike or running, make sure to wear proper safety equipment.
To learn more about staying fit and active, attend “Men’s Health: A Family Affair,” a free event sponsored by the Norton Healthcare Centers for Prevention & Wellness this Sunday, Sept. 29, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage. Along with fun family activities, the event will feature health screenings, seminars, a “man cave” with NFL viewing, healthy snacks and cooking demonstrations.
–Sandra E. Brooks, MD, MBA
System Vice President , Research and Prevention, Norton Healthcare