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Many of us will take out a gym membership to get motivated and kick start our new exercise regime.
As chiropractors, we often advise our clients to take great care when starting new exercise regimes which your body is not used to. You should prepare properly before starting a new exercise programme.
According to research by the British Chiropractor Association, exercise is the trigger for 30% of us experiencing back pain or neck pain. For this reason for anyone embarking on an exercise regime, especially one that is new, the risk of suffering neck or back pain can be higher so it is important to be well prepared.
To help people who are preparing to take up exercise, the BCA has developed the following top tips:
- Seek professional advice to check that there are no medical reasons why you should not exercise, particularly if you are not normally physically active.
- Remember to warm up and warm down before and after any activity. Start with less strenuous activity like walking or jogging and finish with some light stretches at the end of an exercise session – this may help minimise muscle stiffness and reduce the chance of muscle strain.
- Keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise – this will help your muscles work more efficiently and will reduce aches and pains after exercise.
- Make sure you wear the right attire for your chosen activity. Wearing tight clothes when exercising could constrict your movement and lead to injury.
- Wear appropriate footwear for the type of exercise you are doing – most specialist sportswear retailers will be able to advise you on this.
- If you are enrolling in a gym, make sure you receive training on any equipment and if you are signing up to a programme, try and make sure you get proper training, advice and ongoing supervision.