If your New Year's
resolution was to get in shape, you should ease into your exercise programme, an
expert warns. Trying to get quick results could do more harm than good.
"It's important to
know and respect your body's limits," Dr Joshua Harris, an orthopaedic
surgeon with Houston Methodist Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, in Texas, said
in a news release. "Start with an exercise programme that will slowly build
your strength and endurance."
Nearly 500 000 workout-related
injuries occur each year in the United States, according to the news release.
Major causes include people wanting to do too much too fast and overusing their
muscles, as well as poor technique during weight training and other exercise
Read: 5 ways to lift heavier weights
workouts, Harris recommended starting with a light- to moderate-intensity
workout three times a week. The focus should be on high-repetition, low-weight
sets that emphasize larger muscle groups, including the shoulders, hips, pelvis
What to do when lifting weights
It's crucial to use good
form when lifting weights, said Dr Shari Liberman, a hand and upper extremity
specialist at Houston Methodist Orthopaedics.
"In January I see an
increase in patients with wrist sprains and other hand injuries caused by
improper weight-lifting," Liberman said in the news release.
"Keep your wrist
straight when lifting weights," she said. "Many people tend to bend
the wrist in or let it fall back, which can increase their risk of a sprain or
It's a good idea to work with
a personal trainer for a few weight-lifting sessions to help you develop good
form for your wrists and back, Liberman said. She also suggested switching
among workout routines.
Read: Weightlifting can harm heart
helps prevent overuse injuries and increases overall fitness because of the use
of many different muscles," she said. "For example, do yoga on
Monday, running on Wednesday and weight-lifting on Friday."
Overuse injuries also can
be prevented by increasing your flexibility, so you should stretch after every
workout, Harris said.
"It's important to pay
attention to workouts," he said. "Study good form and let muscles
rest. It might take a little longer to get results, but in the end it will
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