With the warmer weather now due upon us, more and more people are getting outdoors and increasing their exercise levels – the power of how we look in a pair of swimmers is always a strong incentive.

To help keep you all pain free in here are 5 simple ways to reduce your injury risk this summer from the team at Northern Beaches Physio.

1.    Start Slowly– many people rush back into their exercise programs at exactly the same level of intensity that they where at when they last exercised – sometimes this was 20 years ago – remember that muscles tighten as we get older and we need to build up our level of intensity gradually – we suggest no more than a 10% increase in time, speed or intensity each week.

2.    Get Good Shoes– don’t make the mistake that many people make and get all motivated and reach into the cupboard for your shoes – only to pull out the old pair of Dunlop Volleys that you used to mow the lawn in 10 years ago. One of the firs things we do as physios when a patient comes in with lower limb pain is to check and often change their footwear – and remember you do get what you pay for when it comes to shoes.

3.    Stretching is Important– stretching is often the forgotten fitness element – many of us are blinded by the lure of cardio training to lose help lose fat and weights to increase muscle size but poor old “flexibility” is sadly neglected as it is largely invisible unless you are an Olympic gymnast. Our muscles tighten as we get older and they also tighten with exercise – so it is important that we allocate equal time in our training programs to this important component of fitness and not just leave 2 mins at the end of a 40 min run to do a few guilt stretches.

4.    See your Health Professional– too many people we see in our clinics tell us that they have had their injury for weeks and often months before doing anything about it – remember the longer an injury is present for the harder it is to fix. If you have a pain or problem get an assessment done immediately – also if you have not exercised for a while it is worth visiting you GP to get a check-up before you get into your program.

5.    Get your technique right in the gym– probably the most common reason for injury in health and fitness programs is poor exercise technique – make sure you get good instruction on the correct technique for all of your exercises before you get serious and increase the weights. Speak to one of the gym trainers or your physio if you are at all concerned about how to do any of the exercises in your program.

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