Spring Training; Your Activity Level
After a long winter, the spring offers more light, motivation, and hours to exercise outdoors. The key to reintroducing acitivity is to be practical and patient. Setting healthy, attainable goals for yourself will result in better long-term results. Beginning running or cycling after months of inactivity will undoubtedly lead to sore muscles and stiffness. It's all natural as your body adapts to activity levels, duration, and frequency. First steps should include proper footwear fitting and an evaluation by your family practice doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist. This will ensure you're deemed healthy enough to participate at any fitness level. A general screening will offer an overall assessment to rule out deficiencies or limitations. Once you're cleared for takeoff, do it slowly. Any fitness publication or website will have solutions for you to begin a simple training program. Most will include a interval-type initiation as your body (and mind) gets used to the physicality. Don't push it, such programs are designed that way for a very specific reason. If you decide to stick to biking vs. running, the same practices apply. Take your bike to a local shop for a proper fitting, to know your body is supported and aligned for the optimal safety and effectiveness. Again, slow and steady. Even if biking is "easier" than running doesn't mean you should take off on 30 miles your first ride. If you have knee pain, biking is best for you. The zero weight bearing will alleviate knee pain as your kneecap tracks properly in that constant motion. Regardless of if you're running or biking, a general rule of thumb for increasing activity is increasing mileage no more than 10% per session. If you run one mile without major issue, your next run could include 1.1 miles, and so on. A 5-mile bike ride could increase to 5.5 miles. Tune in as Ryan Granroth DC explains the safest approach to spring training for your body.