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January 28, 2021

Slow and Steady Wins the Race When Starting a New Exercise Program

When starting an exercise program, our natural desire is to see results and see them quickly, especially if we’re trying to lose excess weight. We may lose patience with ourselves and, as a result, overdo it.

“If you’re not in shape but aspire to achieve any fitness goal, whether that’s to lose weight or run a marathon, it will be important to build up your strength and endurance over time gradually,” said Jeffery Liang, MD, an orthopedics and sports medicine specialist with St. Joseph Medical Center. “Your first step towards starting an exercise routine might be buying a new pair of shoes or taking a walk around the neighborhood. And that’s OK.”

Liang says the most common conditions he sees when patients overextend themselves in starting an exercise routine are muscle soreness, strain, and overuse.

“While these injuries are not serious, they may set you back on your exercise goals, which is why it’s important to take it slowly,” he said. “It’s important not to bite off more than you can chew and set realistic expectations for yourself.”

An essential component of any exercise program is stretching. Liang says it’s best to do so after you’ve warmed up and gotten your blood pumping. He recommends going for a light jog and then stretching to prepare for a workout.  

Thirty minutes of exercise at a moderate intensity every day not only helps prevent heart attack and stroke; it also improves range of motion, strengthens bones and muscles, enhances flexibility, and keeps joints healthy.

“Exercise is medicine,” said Liang. “You derive the most benefits when you do the prescribed amount, lose benefits when you don’t, and increase the risk of injury when you do too much.”

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Liang today by visiting: https://bit.ly/3pqYQOI