This time of year, many people are planning to work out more. But, many people struggle with consistently working out.

As a sports medicine specialist, I offer my clients a few tips to reach this goal.

Pick a Variety of Activities

Pick a few activities that you will enjoy. Participating in a variety of activities is important for many individuals to prevent a monotonous workout routine.

Find Group Fitness Classes

Working out with a group may help you be more consistent with your workout regimen as you may find it more enjoyable and feel the need to be accountable for regular participation.

Make sure you select classes at facilities that are convenient for your daily routines.

Schedule Your Workouts

Develop a routine where you are working out at the same time on the same day of each week. This helps you put the time aside for your exercise participation. The biggest barrier preventing you from getting your recommended exercise is time.

How Often Should I Work Out? And What Types of Activities Are Recommended?

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity per week.

As a rehab professional, I can tell you it is better if you do multiple activities to get your exercise requirement. This forces you to utilize different muscle groups and use different movement patterns. This can help individuals with injury prevention.

Performing both running and strength training is a good idea to get your requirement as both have many health benefits.

Foothills Sports Medicine offers a training program called FAST. This program allows individuals to exercise with a highly-skilled personal trainer. One-on-one and group training programs are offered for all ages. A personal trainer will often challenge you and add variety to your regimen. Each fall, FAST also offers a seasonal running group, which is perfect for runners of all levels.

Pain After Working Out

Unfortunately, developing soreness may occur as you start your new exercise regimen. You are so motivated to shed some holiday pounds that you are working out so much that you are now sore in a place that you never have before.

If pain lasts more than a couple of workouts you should be examined at Foothills Sports Medicine clinic. We offer a free injury assessment to help identify if your pain is normal soreness or a real sports injury. Often times, if the athlete is treated promptly they can continue training while participating in physical therapy.

Our physical therapists will consider your injury history, current pain, the joint’s range of motion, your flexibility, and your muscle strength and endurance when recommending exercise types. Treatments such as dry needling, video analysis, cupping, stretching, neuromuscular retraining, functional training, and strengthening will help you return to your regimen.

Our sports medicine specialists are here to help. Click here to find a location near you!

This time of year, many of us are training for long distance marathons, Spartan Races, and triathlons. During this training, injuries and nagging pain may occur. Many people will turn to a running friend for “expert” advice instead of a licensed physical therapist. The advice may be that they used to run with a heel-strike and they switched to mid-foot running and no longer have pain. Please take this type of advice with extreme caution.

Mid-foot running, heel-strike pattern, chi-running, and barefoot running all have athletes that sing their praises because these runners found the right fit for them. But, an athlete should be careful when switching their running form on a whim without a healthcare professional’s recommendation. These changes in movement patterns become ingrained into the brain and, if they are incorrect, can be difficult to reverse and may cause additional problems.

After analyzing the running form of thousands of runners, we as healthcare practitioners have been unable to conclude what is the best running form for all athletes. The truth lies in the fact that every runner’s perfect form will vary by the individual. For example, mid-foot running increases the stress at the ankle, and heel-strike running increases the stress to the anterior knee. Therefore, changing from heel-strike to mid-foot running may have worked for your friend with anterior knee pain, but could aggravate your Achilles tendonitis.

If pain lasts more than a couple of workouts, it is critical that you are examined by a licensed physical therapist. The physical therapy examination will identify your strengths and limitations. Often, if treated promptly, the athlete can continue training while participating in physical therapy. Based on the athlete’s injury history, current pain, joint range of motion, flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance, their best running form can be determined by an expert at Foothills Physical Therapy.

Treatments such as dry needling, video analysis, cupping, stretching, neuromuscular retraining, and strengthening will likely make this injury a thing of the past and help you to reach your ultimate goal of completing your race in record time. Start the journey toward pain-free running by scheduling an appointment with a licensed physical therapist at Foothills.