After a long winter spent inside, many people want to start the spring off with a bang – making commitments like “run outside every morning.” Although committing to new habits is good, this may set you up for an overuse injury.
Start off with a smaller goal, maybe a run once or twice a week if you haven’t been very active throughout winter. Another thing to keep in mind is that active rest days – days when you are doing low impact exercise like walking, swimming or yoga – can help speed recovery between harder runs or training sessions. The Health Center offers free weekday yoga classes for students – check out the days and times.
Warm up (instead of stretching)
Instead of using a static stretch, like reaching for your toes, a better way to prevent injury is to ease into the activity you’ll be doing (CDC study). For example, walking or walking lunges before running, or warming up with much lighter weights or bodyweight exercises before weightlifting.
It is a good idea to stretch after your workout, and during active rest days, to increase range of motion.
Know when to call Student Health
Anything more than mild soreness after exercise could be a cause for concern. Especially if you have immediate pain and/or swelling during exercise, stop what you are doing and evaluate the situation. You can call the MU Student Health Center and talk with a nurse 24/7 – even when we are closed – to help you decide if you should schedule an appointment.