If you made a New Year’s resolution to get more active and exercise, then make sure you get the right support and don’t just go it alone. There is no argument that exercise is good for you, it benefits your heart, helps to prevent a variety of health issues and is good for weight loss. However, if you’re not used to it or are not preparing properly, it can run the risk of a certain degree of injury. It can also put extra strain on your joints. The secret is to start slowly, seek professional guidance and choose activities that reduce your risk of pain or injury.

It is essential to have a program of activity that suits your needs and abilities and to take some precautionary measures – such as a proper warm-up before exercising. Here are some common mistakes that many people make:

  • Too much, too soon is probably the biggest error when it comes to exercise. When beginning a new regime, motivation is high and people tend to push themselves for longer than they should. Sadly, things start to ache and eventually you’re forced to stop your exercise routine altogether to recuperate.
  • The common pain with over doing it is joint pain as you don’t give your body enough time to adjust slowly to exercise. Every system in your body needs to build up to harder or longer workouts – circulatory, ligaments, cartilage and bones. Start with short, light and frequent with recovery days in between.
  • Wrong footwear can also be a problem. Top of the range training shoes can be pricey but be wary of going bargain basement as you might be choosing an inappropriate show for your foot needs. Proper athletic shoes are designed specifically for different activities and ignoring this might be at your peril if you develop foot pain. Specialist stores will also have staff able to analyse your foot and gait and determine if there are any mechanical or anatomical issues that might affect what shoe you need. For a Leicester Osteopath, visit Townosteo a Leicester Osteopath
  • Repetition can also cause injury. By doing the same exercises over and over, you are just pushing the same muscles and joints each time which can lead to overuse injury and wearing down of the cartilage. Having a variety of routines is important to ensure a workout for all areas, at different intensities over time.

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  • Wrong technique could be something that you’re not even aware of. From cycling to lifting weights, if your seat is not correctly positioned or your lifting stance is wrong then you’re putting pressure on areas that wouldn’t normally occur. The fact is, without proper instruction, few of us know how to ideally line up every joint and move through the correct range of motion to protect our joints. It’s therefore very important to learn the basics through proper instruction.
  • Skipping the warm-up or stretching out after exercise because you’re short on time is another mistake. Warming up prepares the body as cold muscles don’t absorb shock or impact as well. Cooling down helps joint mobility and brings your heart rate back to normal. Skipping either can leave you much more prone to injury.