May is National Physical Fitness and Sports month, a month to highlight the importance of promoting a healthy lifestyle and improving quality of life. To celebrate this observance, look for opportunities to be physically active each day, recommended 60 minutes per day for kids and 30 minutes per day for adults.
At Central Indiana Orthopedics, we are big advocates of physical activity and keeping your body moving, but also preventing injury. Dynamic stretching before physical activity is a great way to wake up your muscles, stay limber and improve your range of motion – all essential components of a healthy fitness routine. Most importantly, dynamic stretching doesn’t require any equipment, takes only a few minutes and can decrease your risk of injury.
Whether you are going out for a run, walk or another activity that gets your heart pumping, protect your health and prevent injury by performing these dynamic stretches before activity.
Side lunges will elevate your heart rate and increase flexibility and strength in your thigh muscles. Start by standing with your feet hip-width distance apart. Take a wide step out to your right, bend your right knee, push your hips back and keep your chest up. Lunge to the side as you shift your weight over your right foot. Push off with your right leg and return to standing. Perform for 30 seconds on the right side before switching to the left.
The pumping motion of leg swings helps stimulate blood flow and move fluid in and out of your joints. Hold onto something stable, like a wall or pole, and stand on one leg. Swing your other leg forward and backward, keeping it as straight as possible. Continue for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Great for your leg muscles and core, high knees will increase your heart rate and improve momentum. Start with your legs hip-width distance apart and lift up one knee to your chest. Switch to lift your other knee to your chest and continue the movement at a quick pace. Continue for 30 seconds.
This plyometric exercise activates the hamstring, glute and quad muscles. Start with your feet hip-width distance apart. Bring your right heel to your buttocks, then place the ball of your right foot back on the ground. Repeat on the left side. Continue alternating sides while gradually building speed until you are jogging in place. Perform this exercise for 30 seconds.
Unfortunately, even when taking proper precautions, sometimes injuries still happen. Our orthopedic experts can provide individualized care to help get you back to doing what you love. If you find yourself needing urgent orthopedic care, visit one of our Walk-In Clinics, no appointment needed. To schedule an appointment, call 800-622-6575 or request one at ciocenter.com using our Chat tool.