It's finally feeling like summer is coming in Colorado. That means more daylight hours, and more time outside! I see lots of runners, bikers, and walkers out on the paths and roads enjoying spring and relishing their healthy bodies! I also usually see an influx of client traffic this time of year as people return to their favorite outdoor sports and need to tune up as they brush off the winter cobwebs. Here are a couple of key things to help prevent injury as you increase your moving time over the next few weeks:
1) Only increase your duration or volume (time on the bike, miles running, etc.) by 10 % of what you did LAST WEEK. Notice I did not say "LAST FALL." Increasing your load too quickly is the number one cause of overuse injuries.
2) Stretch AFTER you exercise. Research has proven time and time again that stretching before activity increases your risk of injury. A good warm up includes walking or slow jogging for a few minutes to get your blood pumping and your synovial fluid (joint lubrication) moving.
3) Don't forget about your stability work- the hip, shoulder, and core strengthening work you've been doing all winter will help keep you injury free. Continue with your strengthening routine 2 days a week.
4) If something feels not quite right, or pain persists for more than a few days, get it addressed. A quick tune up now is better than a serious injury that keeps you sidelined later in the season!