Click play below to listen to KMZU’s Ashley Johnson speak with Landon Hawkins, a Physical Therapist at Ray County Memorial Hospital:

Landon Hawkins

2015 is here and there will be a lot of people with get healthy and exercise more resolutions.  The best way to stick to those goals and not fall out of routine within a few weeks is to think safety first.  “One of the first things we see people do, is exercise too long,” said Hawkins, “Or they exercise at a rate that is too intense for them when they first get started.  That can result in injuries or it can detour them from working out again.”

The key to starting a safe workout program is taking preventative measures first.  “Another thing that we really recommend is that you go see your doctor first,” Hawkins explained, “As we get older, we’re at more risk for these over-use injuries.  Also, with certain medical conditions, you could be more prone to have an injury when starting up an exercise program.  So, go visit with your doctor and gets some tips before you start an exercise program.”

Pushing yourself while working out is good, but you must know your body.  “You know, again I think the big key is listening to your body as you’re exercising,” expressed Hawkins, “Rome wasn’t built in a day, so pace yourself.  If you’re going to do something, you want to do it right.  If you have some questions, a trainer at the gym is an excellent place to start.”

Exercising will make a healthier-you in many ways.  One of the best results is a healthier heart.  “According to the American Heart Association, they recommend about 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise,” Hawkins said, “If you break that into smaller segments, 30 minutes- 5 times a week, is one way to look at it.  You definitely want to take a little time, 3-5 minutes, to warm up a little bit, something light and stretch.  Also, at the end of that 30 minutes, take another 3-5 minutes to slow down and cool down.”

Safety is key, but sometimes injuries just happen.  “If you do suffer from an over-use injury like muscle soreness or strain, typically what we recommend is the R.I.C.E. method,” Hawkins detailed the process, “Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation for that body part injured.  Do that for a couple of days and then see your doctor if you don’t see any progress with that method.”