Staying Injury Free When Starting a New Workout Routine

Staying Injury Free When Starting a New Workout Routine

Professional Woman

“I just started working out and I hurt myself!” is a common phrase uttered by patients of mine looking to get healthier this year. Often my patients in Altoona are just like the majority of Americans.

We sit in our car on the way to work, walk a few steps to sit in our chair at our desks during work. On a good day we might walk around a bit at lunch but for the most part we sit during lunch and then again after lunch as well. We sit in our cars on the way home, sit down to eat dinner and then to decompress after our long days we sit and binge watch our favorite TV shows.

This happens day in and day out.

It catches up with us at some point and we decide to join a gym. This is a great first step but often within the first week people new to fitness experience an injury that sets back their progress.

There are a few reasons for this but today I’ll just be addressing one. When we sit all day, some muscles become shortened while others become lengthened. It messes with your biomechanics. Then we workout, stress our system with improper biomechanics and bam- your low back hurts. Or your shoulder, or your neck. You get the idea.

How do we fix this problem when most of us have to sit through the whole day?

  • Get up every hour to get a drink/bathroom break. When you get up do a few stretches like toe touches to relieve pain in your lower back. Or bring your hands behind your back to stretch your pectoral muscles-these are the muscles that get shortened when you’re hunched over a computer all day and can lead to upper back pain or tightness.
  • 10 min walk during lunch. It may not seem like a lot but it can really help to not only keep you healthy but also keep you pain free. Just a few minutes every day can stretch out and engage the muscles that atrophy when sitting for long periods of time. Plus, it’s been proven to make you more productive when you get back to work because it clears out all the mental cobwebs as well!
  • Make a goal to do something active before sitting down at night watching TV. The weather is nicer so make it a family thing! Go for a walk around your neighborhood or walk to the park and push your kids. If you don’t have a family, ask a friend or walk with your dog. They would both appreciate that!
  • If you decide to start a workout program, start slow with proper mechanics. If you have questions on how to do a specific lift, ask someone at your gym if there is a wellness coach that can just walk you through the equipment and how it all works. Or ask me! I would love to get your started on a plan that will get you healthy and active and keep you that way for a long time!

Most importantly, if you do experience pain come in right away. The worst thing you can do when starting a new exercise routine is to ignore your body’s signals that something isn’t right. If you come in right away we can figure out the problem that might have you just sitting a day or two out. If you continue to push through the pain there’s a chance you can do lasting or permanent damage that would require even longer rest.

But take a minute to celebrate that you are doing it! You deserve to be healthy so congratulations on making that first step and joining the gym! Good luck!


7:00am - 11:00am
2:00pm - 5:30pm

7:00am - 11:00am
2:00pm - 5:30pm

7:00am - 11:00am
2:00pm - 5:30pm

7:00am - 11:00am
2:00pm - 5:30pm

7:00am - 11:00am
2:00pm - 4:00pm

8:30am - 10:00am

Dawson Chiropractic: Marcus Dawson, DC
706 8th Street SW
Altoona, IA 50009
(515) 967-3007