Spring Exercise

April 20, 2010
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Spring is a time of rejuvenation for most people. We clean our homes thoroughly, we ready our gardens, and often we kick our workout programs into over-drive. Spring is a great time to rejuvenate your body by beginning an exercise plan. The weather allows you to do many varied and enjoyable activities, which has shown to help people stick with exercise plans. It also allows you to begin working out before summer, when you will most likely spend some time in a bathing suit. If you are wanting to get back into the routine this spring, pay attention to these tips and reminders.

Exercise for health! Exercise is the best thing you can do for your body, especially paired with a balanced diet. Exercise helps us burn calories which cause unhealthy fat; strengthen our existing muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons; reduce weight which causes stress on joints; reduce risks of many diseases like heart disease; reduce cholesterol, a major health risk; improve our mental state; and help us look our best. And these are just a few of the major reasons exercise is so good for you. This does not mean you need an expensive gym membership or a personal trainer. Walking a half hour a day is something you can do no matter your age or fitness level. It is one of the best ways to get back into the swing of exercising, and begin to work yourself back into shape for other activities. You should walk at a pace where you can still hold a conversation, but your heart rate should be elevated. Choosing a walking partner is also a great idea; it will reduce your boredom and keep you accountable for your daily walking routine. And spring is a great time to enjoy mild weather, budding plants, fresh smells, and enjoy some sunshine. Walking is also easy on your feet, as it is a low-impact exercise. It is one of the best ways to get back into exercising regularly.

Remember to wear the correct shoes for your activity. Exercise is nearly impossible when your feet hurt. Wear shoes designed for your activity. If you are walking, wear walking shoes. If you are lifting weights, then cross trainers are a good choice. Runners should invest in a good running shoe. Shoes are designed with activities in mind to offer you the correct amount of support and cushion for your activity. Old or worn out shoes will not offer you the correct support, and can lead to problems like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, shin splints and stress fractures. Make sure your shoes are in good condition and always lace them entirely. You should also know that the right shoes will protect your feet from debris and other hazards as you exercise. Closed toes shoes may not make a stubbed toe pain-free, but they may prevent it from being a broken toe. Also, the wrong shoes can cause more problems. High heels or flip flops are not intended for walking long distances, so leave them out of your exercise program, or just running errands. These shoes do not offer the support your feet need, and at the end of the day your feet will be painful. Plan ahead with shoewear.

Wear sunscreen anytime you are outside, whether it be to exercise, do yard work, or just to relax. The sun is harmful to skin, and can lead to skin cancer. Putting sunscreen on any exposed skin, even on your feet, can help prevent sun burns and other skin damage.

Don't ignore your pain. Pain in your feet and ankles is not normal. If you experience any pain in your feet or ankles, this can be a sign of an injury. If you are experiencing pain or an injury, take the time off from your workouts to come see the podiatrist. We can help you recover and find relief from the pain, so that you can continue to exercise and improve your health without suffering through the pain of an injury.

Remember to drink plenty of fluids, water especially. Yes, sports drinks do help return electrolytes, but remember that your body's main need is water, so drink plenty of it. Not only will this help you to recover from your workout, but drinking water when dieting helps you to feel full and reduce cravings and hunger. Your body will function better when you get plenty of water, and you will be able to exercise longer in hot weather when you are properly hydrated. Remember that you need to drink water before, during and after your workout to maintain your hydration.

Do your homework. There are lots of diets and exercise programs available to you from every media source. This can be overwhelming at times. We encourage you to get back into an exercise routine, and choosing a program from television or online is fine. But remember that you need to consider the cost of these programs and equipment. Will you use a home gym, or will it just gather dust? Do you prefer to exercise outside by biking, walking or running? Pay attention to how you like to exercise and take that into consideration before buying a product. Also remember that these people are trying to make a profit and need to market their products. Although machines and programs can be a big help, you can also live a healthy life just by eating right and exercising regularly, even if its in a simple way like jogging. If you are looking for exercises you can do without a lot or no equipment, or for free resources, try scouring the web. There are lots of ideas you can share or receive for free. Even chat groups can help support your efforts to healthier living. Do not think that everything involved in losing weight requires a huge price tag.

Don't give up. Being consistent with exercise programs is a challenge! You may be able to work out one evening but not another. You may give in to a craving and "ruin" your diet. Realize that changing your diet and exercise routine is not an over-night endeavor. It will take time to change your standard behavior and attitude to one that encourages exercise and good food choices. Relapses happen to everyone. This does not mean that you should give up. You will not "ruin" a diet with one lapse, since this will be compared to the progress you have already made. Giving up on your new program is the only way to ruin yourself. A set back is not the end of an exercise routine or diet program unless you let it be the end of it. Work a little harder the next day and reset your attitude. Remember that you will need breaks from exercise routines as well. Trade one future scheduled rest day for your relapse day. Just remember that you need to get out and try again.

We hope that this spring will help you improve your health and well being! If you have any questions about exercise programs, or want to make comments to other patients, feel free to use this blog. And if you experience any problems with or pain in your feet and ankles, don't hesitate to call us. We want to get you back to enjoying the spring and your workouts as soon as you can!