My name is Chris Sakowski. I am an
orthopedic surgeon and I sub-specialize in foot and ankle surgery. If you’re just
starting an exercise regimen and you haven’t exercised in a while, probably
the best thing to do first, is to check with your primary care physician to make
sure that there’s no underlying medical problems that would preclude you from
exercising. And they can also do some basic labs such as calcium, vitamin D,
workup any metabolic abnormalities that could predispose you to any type of
stress fracture type of injury. Vitamin D deficiency is super common especially
after the winter months when people are inside for long periods of time and not
getting sun exposure. So that’s one of the reasons why some people develop
stress fractures, particularly women as they get into their 40’s and 50’s. The next
thing I would say is that you should start with a graduated exercise regimen. So don’t go out and try to run a 5k. I typically recommend low-impact activity
for everybody. If you are dead-set and going out and running, start with low
distance and go slowly. Don’t try to ramp up your distance over a rapid period of
time. That’s what predisposes you to injury. The other thing that is super
important when you’re starting an exercise program is to get a good
stretching program before you start. Improper stretching and lack of
stretching leads to a lot of injuries, so that’s probably the best way once you’re
exercising to help protect yourself. And then, the last thing that is probably overlooked quite often is proper shoe wear. Not all shoes are
created equal for every activity. If you’re going to go outside and run you
should go to an a running store and buy a good running shoe. Don’t try to go wear
basketball shoes or indoor soccer shoes to go run outside because that can lead
to injury.

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Dennis Veasley

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