Washington: Most of you will be desperate to get rid of the holiday weight you gained over Christmas, and to welcome new year in a fit body, but experts have warned that not knowing the correct way to work out might hurt you more than help you.
Nearly 500,000 workout-related injuries occur each year. One reason is people want to do too much too fast and overuse their muscles.
These injuries occur gradually and are often hard to diagnose in the bones, tendons and joints. Another reason is poor technique during weight and other training.
Dr. Joshua Harris, an orthopedic surgeon with Houston Methodist Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, said that it's important to know and respect your body's limits, and start with an exercise program that will slowly build your strength and endurance.
Start a light to moderate intensity workout three times per week, with the focus on high repetition, low weight sets that emphasize larger muscle groups, including the shoulder, hip, pelvis, and core, Harris said.
When lifting weights, he added, it is extremely important to use good form.
Dr. Shari Liberman, a hand and upper extremity specialist, sees an increase in patients with wrist sprains and other hand injuries caused by improper weight lifting in January.
Liberman advises to keep your wrist straight when lifting weights, but many people tend to bend the wrist in or let it fall back which can increase their risk of a sprain or other injury.
Liberman suggests working with a personal trainer for a few weight lifting sessions to help develop good form for your wrists and back. She also recommends alternating between different workout routines.
Rotating routines helps prevent overuse injuries and increases overall fitness because of the use of many different muscles , Liberman said.
Harris said that overuse injuries can also be prevented by increasing your flexibility and recommends stretching after every workout.
Harris added that it might take a little longer to get results, but in the end it will prevent injuries.