January 4th, 2013

Health N' Sports: A Good Start to the Year

Staff Report

Health N' Sports: A Good Start to the Year
photo from www.sheknows.com

Starting a Workout Routine: Missteps, Suggestions, Planning, & Goals

As a part of the Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic, the Sports Rehab Team physical therapists are knowledgeable and trained in the latest advancements and techniques available in sports rehabilitation.

On a weekly basis, the Health N’ Sports Update will give information on prevention, recovery, and include special offers, as well as general health tips that would be beneficial to all. If there is a specific topic you’d like to know or hear more about, email future suggestions to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

It’s a new year and it’s time for New Year’s resolutions.  The most popular resolution is to lose weight and get in better shape.  Since the obesity rate is at an all time high, choosing to be more active is an excellent choice.  Millions of Americans get gym memberships, but fail to have a plan and increase the chance of injury.  This is especially true for individuals who were previously sedentary.  Before hitting the gym, make sure you have a plan.  Here are a few suggestions when planning a new exercise routine:

1. Write down your goals, as well as the exercise routine

2. Document the frequency of your workouts, how long & how many times per week

3. Develop a workout routine including the exercises

4. Set practical goals

5. Determine what your long term goals are

6. Assess your current physical condition and make achievable short term goals

7. Try to exercise with a group

8. Friends can hold you accountable and make exercising more enjoyable

9. Reward yourself for meeting your goals; ex: new workout shoes, fancy dinner, etc.

10. Mix it up. Keeping the same routine can make your workout stale and boring. This will likely decrease the chances of staying consistent with your workout.


Appropriate Exercise Levels


Along with developing a plan, it’s very important to start exercising at an appropriate level to avoid injury.  Let’s look at a person who’s interested in taking up running.  Someone who hasn’t run before shouldn’t start with a 5k.  A better progression would be starting on a stationary bike, progressing to an elliptical and then jogging on a track or treadmill.  The table below is a great example of different activities at various intensity levels.  The American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association suggests 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity 5 days per week or 20 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity three days week in order to promote a healthy lifestyle.



Intensity Levels of Common Physical Activities




Light walking

Moderate walking

Walking, Jogging & Running

Walking slowly

Walking at a pace of 3.0–4.0 mph

Walking at a pace of >4.5 mph on a flat surface


Walking/hiking at moderate pace and grade with a <10 lb pack


Hiking at steep grades with <10 lb pack


Jogging at 5-6 mph

Running at 7 mph or >

Household & Occupation

Household & Occupation

Household & Occupation

Sitting – computer work

Standing performing light work such as making a bed, washing dishes, ironing, or preparing food

Heavy cleaning – washing windows or car, cleaning garage

General carpentry

Mowing lawn with a push mower

Shoveling sand, coal, snow, etc

Carrying heavy loads such as bricks

Heavy farming such as bailing hay

Leisure Time and Sports

Leisure Time and Sports

Leisure Time and Sports

Arts & Crafts, playing cards



Fishing - sitting

Badminton – recreational

Basketball – shooting around

Bicycling – flat land (10-12 mph)

Ballroom dancing

Fishing – river bank & walking

Golf – walking

Swimming – leisurely

Table tennis

Tennis doubles

Basketball game

Bicycling – flat land (12-16 mph)

Skiing – cross country

Soccer – competitive

Swimming – moderate/hard

Tennis singles

Volleyball - competitive

Source: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2007 Special Communications


Warm Ups & Stretching


A new exercise program should assess flexibility and include appropriate stretches.  Someone beginning a new exercise program probably needs a great deal of stretching in order to avoid soreness or worse, injury.  For example, someone beginning a jogging or running program probably needs to begin hamstring, quad, and calf stretching.  Standard stretches should be held 20-30 seconds and repeated 2-3 times.  Dynamic warm-ups can also be included in order to prepare the body for a vigorous workout.  By stretching before and after exercise, you can possibly prevent soreness and injury.


Lifting weights should also be a part of a balanced exercise routine.  Weight training has shown to increase bone formation in young adults and slow bone loss in middle age.  The American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association suggests including resistance exercises a minimum of two days a week.  Each exercise should include 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions resulting in fatigue of the muscle.  When deciding how much weight to use it’s best to start by using too little weight rather than too much and hurting yourself.  If the exercise is too easy by the third set, take notes and increase the weight the next time you perform the exercise.  Also remember that proper technique is important in preventing injury and benefiting fully from the exercise.


Goals of getting in shape don’t have to be New Year’s resolutions.  They can also be very rewarding and obtainable if done properly.  Educating yourself and planning is crucial to creating a successful exercise routine.  If you still have questions, make sure you consult a professional in order to make a healthier and happier 2013.


-Mike Mehring, ATC-


Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic & Sports Rehab Center

Main Office: 502-897-1794

Physical Therapy: 502-897-1790

Website: louortho.com

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