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Ease into activity to avoid injury

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This year, Detroit has been hit particularly hard with the winter. The frigid cold temperatures have forced many people to remain inside. However, as the weather warms, more and more people are venturing outside to go for long walks, jogs, and runs and to generally become more active.

If you are one of the many people that spent the winter months hibernating on your couch, it’s important to ease into activity to avoid injury. Although it’s natural to have spring fever and want to just get out there the first chance you get, going on a 3-mile run on the first warm day after 3 months of inactivity is probably not the best idea, regardless of the shape you were in before the winter hit.

To avoid the risk of injury, people need to ease back into their exercise routines. Warm ups and stretching are important to make sure the muscles don’t cramp. Starting off with smaller distances and working up to longer ones is also key to allow the body time to adjust to the new activity level. It’s also important to hydrate, so drink lots of water. Drinking coconut water can help balance electrolytes.

Precautions should even be taken for pets. For those that haven’t walked their dogs all winter long, a long jog or run could lead to injury. Starting with a shorter jog or a walk will help the dog avoid injury. Playing fetch can also be used to burn off excess energy.

While we still may have a few more weeks of winter ahead of us, you can start becoming more active in the home by doing simple exercises like jumping jacks, stair climbing, running in place, and playing with the kids or dog.

When you do decide to finally emerge from your winter cocoon, just make sure to take it easy and do it safely so you don’t end up with an injury that will put you back on the couch for another month.

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