Whether you love exercising or you’re starting a new fitness routine, here are some helpful tips to stay motivated and prevent injuries.
Finding that extra motivation in your busy life to exercise can be tough. Once you’ve overcome that initial hurdle and you’ve started a new exercise regimen, maintaining your enthusiasm may become a new challenge. Here are five recommendations to help you prevent injuries and keep the momentum going on your fitness goals.
1. Create a plan
Do you plan to exercise every day? Once a week? Or just on weekends? Whatever your target may be, it’s important to document a plan and keep it with you. Establishing a plan can help you stay motivated and on course.
2. Eat in advance
Eat something at least an hour before your workout. A meal or snack, prior to a workout, will give your body the nourishment it needs to fuel through an exercise routine.
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3. Drink water
Staying hydrated is important at all times and particularly during a workout. Whether you’re running, doing yoga or taking a walk around your local park, remember to bring along plenty of water so you can stay refreshed and hydrated.
“For optimal health, make sure to drink between 40 to 60 ounces a day,” says Katherine Gibson, MD, clinical associate professor of family medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and a primary care physician at Keck Medicine of USC. “Staying well hydrated can help you maintain your energy level, improve your mood, prevent constipation, prevent headaches, prevent kidney stones and help with weight loss.”
Once you’ve gathered the enthusiasm to exercise, it’s also important to know what steps to take in order to prevent injuries. Stretching, before and after your workout, can help prevent injuries.
“Prior to and after a run, stretching is recommended for about 10 to 15 minutes and should include all joints and extremities,” says Eric Tan, MD, assistant professor of clinical orthopaedic surgery at the Keck School and an orthopaedic surgeon at Keck Medicine. “This should include your hip flexors, hip adductors, hip abductors, hamstrings, iliotibial (IT) band, quadriceps and calf muscles.”
5. Bring headphones
Working out on a treadmill or similar exercise machine can be repetitive. To combat any possible boredom, consider bringing your headphones so you can listen to your favorite songs. Music, an audiobook or even your favorite podcast can help you stay motivated.
In addition to your workout routine, tracking your results can be a powerful and useful tool. By documenting your Documenting your progress can help you stay motivated r way is there to motivate yourself than to see direct results?
by Leonard Kim
Do you need guidance to start a new workout routine? Schedule a visit with your primary care physician to discuss a plan that works best for your goals and lifestyle.
If you are in the Los Angeles area and are looking for exceptional care from some of the top physicians in the world, be sure to schedule an appointment by calling (800) USC-CARE (800-872-2273) or by visiting keckmedicine.org/request-an-appointment.