Spending more time at home comes with its fair share of advantages and disadvantages, and most families are figuring it out as they go. While we’re seeing less injuries from contact sports, injuries from things like starting new, unguided workout regimens and from doing everyday housework are on the rise.
Here are four tips to avoid at-home orthopedic injuries while staying active this summer.
- Ease into new workouts and activities. Your gym may be closed and, if not, you’re trying to decide when to get back to your normal routine. In the meantime, you want to stay active to avoid going stir-crazy. But you don’t have access to the equipment or classes you’re used to. We get it. Take time to adjust to any new workouts and activities you choose to do at home. To help avoid injury, don’t overdo it right away.
- Get help when learning those new workouts. Maybe you’re ready to start weight-lifting or try your hand at CrossFit. As you begin these new routines, reach out for help. Find a friend or family member who has experience with that workout and can help demonstrate proper form. Or better yet, hire a trainer. Many trainers are now doing virtual sessions and can help guide you while you safely workout at home.
- Be careful with repetitive workouts. Many people have increased their at-home workouts and have used extra free time to become more physically active. Now is a great time to build good fitness habits, but be careful with repetitive workouts as they can lead to overuse injuries. Running and cycling too often, for instance, can cause stress fractures, shin splints and tendinitis. We recommend switching up your routine to focus on other muscle groups and giving your body proper rest.
- Don’t forget to warmup and stretch. These things can easily get left out of the routine when you don’t have an instructor guiding you, but you need to do them. Warming up and stretching are two of the most important parts of a workout routine. Warming up not only loosens stiff muscles, but it can also improve performance. And stretching can help boost your flexibility and decrease the muscle tension in your body. Both will reduce your risk of injury.
No matter where you’re spending your time this summer, it’s important for your physical and mental health to stay active. But falls, mishaps and orthopedic injuries don’t take a vacation just because we’re at home. Call your doctor if you experience an orthopedic injury. Doctors’ offices are safe, ready and open to care for you.