Tips for Safely Returning to an Active, Outdoor Lifestyle this Spring
Sheboygan – The snow is finally melting and many people are ready to step out in nature and resume exercising outdoors.
“Exercise has all kinds of health benefits including controlling weight, lowering risk of chronic disease, strengthening bones and even improving mental health and mood,” said Dr. Scott Haskins, an orthopedic sports medicine surgeon at Prevea Health and HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital. “However, when jumping back into a walking or running routine, it’s easy to push yourself too hard and put yourself at risk for injury.”
HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital and Prevea Health offer the following tips to help you safely return to an active, outdoor lifestyle this spring:
- If you were sedentary this winter, consider your health and equipment before you start exercising outdoors in spring. If you have any existing health issues, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or a history of heart disease, it is important that you make an appointment with your primary care provider to ensure you are ready for vigorous activity.
- Make sure you have good quality, well-fitted athletic shoes and proper clothing that will allow heat to dissipate. It is recommended to change running shoes every 300-400 miles, so take a look at those treads before pounding the pavement. Click here for more information about proper shoe fittings.
- If you are just beginning an exercise regimen, remember to plan balanced workouts that include cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training. Ideally, throughout the week, you should complete aerobic exercise (such as walking, jogging, or swimming) three times per week and anaerobic exercise (short duration and high intensity such as weight lifting, push-ups, sprints, or intervals) two to three times per week. The duration of each should be 30 to 60 minutes. When it comes to getting in shape, it’s best to include a variety of activities to reduce the risk of overuse injuries.
- To maintain proper mechanics and keep the body healthy, it is crucial to include exercises that strengthen the core and hips as well as maintain flexibility in the legs. Lower extremity injuries are often connected to weak hips, back and abdominal muscles. Yoga, Pilates and simple exercises such as bridges, planks, crunches, leg lifts, and donkey kicks can be done at home in little time and all keep the muscles strong. Completing hamstring and calf stretches or working a brief dynamic stretching routine in before or after your workout will allow you to sustain or improve flexibility and decrease the chances of chronic aches and pains.
About HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital
HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital has been delivering high quality health care to Sheboygan and its surrounding communities since 1890. HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital provides a comprehensive range of services that include cancer care, women’s services, 24-hour emergency care, digestive health, orthopedics, cardiac, home health and hospice care. The hospital’s primary purpose is to continue Christ’s healing love through the delivery of high quality and compassionate health care in an environment sensitive to the needs of all people. HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. An affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System, we draw on the history of St. Francis of Assisi as we move to continue serving the health care needs of our area in Christ’s healing ministry, caring for all people. To learn more, visit www.stnicholashospital.org.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality, Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 Local Systems and physician practices in Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan, and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.
About Prevea Health
Founded in Green Bay, Wis. in 1996, Prevea Health is a health care organization that provides high-quality, primary and specialty health care in 80+ locations across northern, eastern and western Wisconsin in clinic and hospital settings. It is partnered with six Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) hospitals across Wisconsin to provide patients a system of highly-coordinated care, close to home: HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay; HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan; HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls; HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire; and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls. For more information, visit www.prevea.com.
- If, at any point during your physical activity, you believe you might have a sports-related injury, make an appointment with your primary care provider. He or she can help you troubleshoot the issue or refer you to a specialist if needed.