After a long (at least for us) winter, Spring has arrived in New Orleans. Many will want to shed those winter pounds and clothes, start a new workout regimen, or get your hands muddy in the garden. Before you dust off your running shoes, grab your shovel, or join an outdoor boot camp, there are some things to consider. We spoke with MPT’s Whitney Braswell, DPT, who is also an avid runner, about the do’s and don’ts of starting a new exercise program, and a few tips for gardeners.
- Start Slow. “It depends on your fitness level and your goals, but it’s always a good idea to start with a lower time duration, lower resistance and fewer reps for exercises,” says Braswell. “And listen to your body (more on that later).”
- Proper stretching (before and after). “My advice is three times for each stretch, holding for 30 seconds, says Braswell. “For runners, make sure to stretch your Achilles tendons and quads. Gardeners should try to stretch their pectoral muscles with a doorway stretch.” Speaking of gardeners, Braswell says that gardeners should make sure to have something soft under their knees: “Grass is okay but not concrete. Gardeners should also get up every 30 minutes to stretch and not stay on their knees for long periods of time.”
- Hydrate. Drink often and good old fashioned water should do the trick.
- Rest. Make sure to get enough sleep and rest between workouts.
- Listen to your body. “It’s important to know the difference between pain and muscle soreness.”