Giddy Quotes Dr. Mandelbaum: How to Start a New Workout Program Safely

If you're getting back into working out after a long break or you've never adopted a workout program before and don't know where to start, it's important to begin with appropriate safety measures.

Start off by reviewing some basics.

  • Start with what you can manage. "If you're starting weight training, pick a weight you can comfortably lift for 10 reps. The last 2 to 3 reps should be really challenging," said Sridhar Yalamanchili, a physical therapist with Atlantic Spine Center in New Jersey.
  • Maintain intensity. Yalamanchili recommends maintaining intensity by figuring out the right duration (probably 30 to 45 minutes per workout) or number of reps. Conditioning your body for exercise will help ensure long-term commitment.
  • Stay away from exercises that cause pain or injury. This is even more important if you have an existing injury. If you're hoping to exercise to recover from an injury or health problem, consult your doctor or physical therapist first.
  • Practice correct form. Doing a workout once with the correct form is better than doing it 100 times incorrectly. This will yield better-desired results long-term and help to prevent injury.
  • Warm up and cool down. "Just like you wouldn't start up a car that's been parked all winter long and zoom down the driveway before giving it time to warm up, the same goes for your body," said Bert Mandelbaum, M.D., sports medicine specialist and orthopedic surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute. "We need a few minutes of warm-up time before any physical activity to get the blood flowing and give the muscles and joints a heads-up that they're about to be put to work. Cold muscles are much less flexible and much more prone to injury."

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