How to Prevent Injuries When You Start Walking
I'm battling a bit of a muscle strain after a few weeks on the walking trail. I guess that's to be expected if you don't get much exercise.
On Friday, I barely made it 2 laps around Mall St. Vincent. My calf muscle was all messed up. It felt like I had a bit knot in it. Dr. Jason Maggio helped me with some stretches to ease the pain, but he said we need to be careful because you don't want to injure the muscle any further. One diagnosis is new shoes. My old sneakers were 2 years old. So I got some new sneaks and went back out to walk on Monday. After 2 laps, the muscle started hurting again. I made it 3 laps, but had to stop. The rest of the CIA (chicks in action) finished the 4 laps and we took our picture and went on our way. I am determined to do 4 laps on Wednesday! I will be doing some light stretching on a more regular basis. This should help get the muscle ready for my walks.
PREVENTION TIPS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
It’s normal to have some muscle soreness if you’re not used to exercising or if you’re trying a new activity. This is different from pain. Pain can be your body's way of telling you that something is wrong. Pushing through pain or masking it with medication can lead to further injury.
Injuries can happen when you do much more activity than your body is used to. Your body needs to get used to exercising for a longer time before you move to something more challenging. Follow the FITT (Frequency, Intensity, Type, Time) rule. Gradually increase how often, how hard and how long you work out (frequency, intensity and time).
You have to have shoes that fit you properly. If the cushion in your shoe is worn out, you could be facing some injuries. Get a professional fitting. It's worth it.
REMEMBER TO WARM UP AND COOL DOWN
Do a low-intensity activity until your body feels warm and you are ready to go. Your warm-up activity should use the same muscles you will use during your workout. Warming up increases the blood flow and oxygen to your muscles.
Cool down after your activity by repeating your warm-up activity. This will help to prevent muscle soreness and stiffness and prevent injuries.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE INJURED
If you have pain that lasts several days or happens again with repeated activity, you have some sort of injury. You should see your doctor or physical therapist. During the first stage of an injury (up to seven days), your doctor or physical or athletic therapist may ask you to follow the RICE principle:rest, ice, compression, elevation.
A physical therapist or sports/athletic therapist can help you to heal with exercises and other treatments. He or she may also advise you on how to keep active without making your injury worse.