Success Story/Easing into Exercise

A basic walking program is a good way to begin an exercise routine. Julia Carver, a board-certified clinical specialist in geriatric physical therapy at Piedmont Athens Regional, suggests staring with 10 minutes daily.
A basic walking program is a good way to begin an exercise routine. Julia Carver, a board-certified clinical specialist in geriatric physical therapy at Piedmont Athens Regional, suggests staring with 10 minutes daily.

How to ease back into an exercise routine in a post-pandemic world

With fewer places to go and people to see in the past year, we’ve all moved less. “Even those small little bits of movement, it adds up,” said Julia Carver, a board-certified clinical specialist in geriatric physical therapy at Piedmont Athens Regional. “Easing back into activity I think that is the key,” said Dr. Tracy Ray, a sports medicine physician with Piedmont Athens Regional. Here’s five tips on exercising with ease:

1. No to “No pain, no gain” “The no pain, no gain idea is not a good idea for 80% of the population,” said Ray said. “For the majority who are reading your column, no pain, no gain is no good at all.” While it’s a physiological fact you have to stress the body a little bit to gain muscle, “If you’re not under 25, doing that at a rapid rate is going to overstress your tissues,” Ray said. “It has to be done slowly and over time.”

2. Walking works: “I think one of the best things we can all do is a basic walking program,” said Carver, who suggests starting with 10 minutes daily.

3. Dynamic warm-up strategy: “I want to avoid the cliché of warm up and stretch out and you’ll avoid injury. The research and the literature says that stretching the way we did 50 years ago does not work,” Ray said. “Instead of just bending over and touching your toes ... those are called static stretches, those kind of stretches do not help you with injury prevention. That is pretty well proven in the medical literature. I would not recommend anything but dynamic stretching exercises.”

Here’s a selection of videos we found on YouTube.com:

Dynamic Stretching Warm Up Routine with AskDoctorJo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vw7PdhxPCS4 Instructions from a physical therapist.

Beginner Dynamic Stretching /Dynamic Stretches for Beginners with FrankWallFitness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjOMH5F0H10 Featuring a certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist.

Pre-Workout Stretch | Pre-Game Stretch | Dynamic Stretching Routine with Pro Training Basketball https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0eCC90oZVo&t=95s Geared to basketball players, this video offers explanations of dynamic and static stretching.

4. Schedule it: “If I schedule a time to exercise ... it’s one of the better ways to start with establishing a routine,” Carver said.

5. The great outdoors: “I tried to make a reservation at one of our state parks recently to go camping, and they are packed. People feel safer outdoors, and they are safer outdoors,” Ray said.

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