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Five Tips for Staying Sports Injury-free

Exercise and fitness are important at all ages. Especially aging baby boomers find regular exercise is vital for bone, heart and muscle strength. The trick, as we age, is to remain injury-free. Unfortunately, baby boomers, who range in age from 50 to the late 60s, are at higher risk for certain injuries compared to younger adults.

According to news released October 29, 2013 by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the most common sport injuries among baby boomers are: tendon injuries, such as tendonitis and tendon tears; bursitis in the heel, knee, hip, elbow and shoulder; arthritis in the joints, including knee and hip osteoarthritis; back pain; and sprained and strained ligaments or muscles.

To combat the aging body’s vulnerability to injury, orthopaedic surgeons recommend these five strategies:

No. 1: Don’t look at warming up and stretching as one and the same. Warming up means breaking a sweat or at least getting your body temperature up before your activity. It might mean walking, bending, doing jumping jacks or jogging in place. It’s good to warm up before stretching. And stretching can be done before or after an activity.

No. 2: Commit to exercise. Exercising on weekends only sets you up for injury. Rather, try to exercise moderately at least 30 minutes daily. It’s good to vary your exercises. So, you might play tennis one day and take a jog or brisk walk another.

No. 3: Don’t be an aging hero. Listen to your body. At least initially, you might not be as flexible, agile or quick as you once were. Give your body time to adjust to the activity and modify if needed.

No. 4: Increase the intensity, but within reason. Many recommend the 10 percent rule for building up an activity. If you’re weight training, the 10 percent rule means gradually increasing weight by no more than 10 percent at a time. If you’re a runner, think about adding 10 percent a week to your mileage. More than 10 percent might increase your risk of injury.

No. 5: Think in terms of engaging in a balanced exercise program. To become fit and stronger, which help to prevent injury, work on cardio, strength training, flexibility and balance.

Physical therapists are the exercise experts. For more about how physical therapy can help you safely and effectively exercise with focuses on cardiovascular training, strength training, flexibility and balance, contact A Physical Therapist, Inc.

A Physical Therapist, Inc., is a one-on-one physical therapy clinic in Delray Beach, Fla., and Harrisburg, Penn. For patients in Palm Beach County, A Physical Therapist, Inc., is easily accessible from Boca Raton or Boynton Beach. For patients in Dauphin County, A Physical Therapist, Inc., is easily accessible from Hershey and Marysville.

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