Starting Your Exercise Program the Right Way


Biking, CrossFit, kickboxing, running, Pilates, weight lifting, yoga, and playing sports have significant benefits for both you and your body. Although physical activities carry the risk of injury, there are a number of ways to prepare and reduce your chances of injury as you start a new exercise program or sport. Common areas of injury are the ankles, elbows, lower back, knees, wrists, and shoulders.

Here is a list of recommendations to keep top of mind as you embark on your next fitness program.

  1. Outline your fitness goals and create a timeline for those goals. Try and make goals that are achievable and realistic. Once you reach those goals, make new ones.
  2. Always respect the limits of your body. Start by focusing on achieving proper form and technique and for each exercise. Do this by performing with minimal weight and/or resistance for the first 2-4 weeks to focus on learning the proper technique of the exercise, rather than trying to set a personal record. Once you’ve learned the proper technique for each exercise/activity then it is appropriate to find that “initial fitness level.”
  3. There are no stupid questions. It is better to ask and get the right answer, than guess the wrong answer. Not asking questions could lead to injury if an activity is performed incorrectly for an extended period of time. Find a physical therapist near you for expert advice on exercising safely and properly.
  4. Enjoy your activity. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing then it’s easy to make excuses not do it, so try different types of exercises until you’ve found “your” type of exercise.
  5. Taking time to rest and recover of a period up to two days is not a bad thing. In fact, as you add a new activity or exercise to your regime it is a good idea to take a break especially if you are feeling sore. By exercising in different ways you can rotate your activities as needed to work different muscle groups if you are sore in certain areas.
  6. Environment is important, each gym will have a different environment and different activities offered, so try new gyms to suit your needs.

Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy is committed to patient recovery and the progression of your goals. If you notice bumps, bruises, pain or weakness that does not improve over a couple of weeks, then contact one of our clinics for a Free Rapid Recovery® Injury Assessment, and prevent a small injury from becoming a larger problem.


Jason Sweet

PT, DPT | Director of the Northwest Tucson Location