/ by UK HealthCare
This summer, Keeneland – in partnership with UK HealthCare – is hosting The Gatepost Gallop, a fitness initiative to encourage communities, families and individuals to stay active and healthy at home while giving back to the Central Kentucky community.
Staying healthy while exercising is important, so Ryleigh Cunningham, a certified athletic trainer at UK Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine, shares answers to common questions to help you exercise safely – and watch as Tanner Eldridge, one of our graduate assistant athletic trainers, demonstrate some helpful warm-up stretches in a video at the end of the blog.
What tips do you have to help active families stay healthy and safe while exercising?
During this time, it is so important for families to stay active while remaining as healthy as they can. Families can walk, bike or run around their neighborhoods as well as use indoor equipment at their house, such as treadmills, to stay as active as possible.
If I don’t exercise regularly already, how should I get started?
Set obtainable goals. If you want to go from couch to 5K, there are many good programs that you can follow.
If you simply want to become more active, you might work up to walking 10 miles a week – that’s two miles a day during the week, and if you miss a day, you can walk on Saturday or Sunday.
How often should I exercise?
Light exercise, like a one to two-mile walk, can be done on a daily basis as long as you are not having any pain other than muscle soreness.
More intense exercise such as running, jogging or cycling is harder on your body. Try three days a week for more intense exercise with a rest day in-between to allow your body to recover.
Stay hydrated and be sure to eat properly. Imagine your body as a car – you have to put gas in the tank in order for it to go, and the same goes for our bodies.
What should I bring on my walk/run/ride?
Bring water or a low-sugar sports drink to stay hydrated in the heat. Also bring your cell phone in case of emergency.
What about safety?
When walking or running, be sure to go against traffic. When biking, travel in the same direction as traffic, and always wear proper protective gear. To make sure your kids are staying safe while bike riding, keep these tips in mind.
If you are exercising in the dark, wear proper reflective equipment. And remember, practice social distancing and wash your hands after exercise.
How can adults expect their exercise experience to differ from their child’s?
Adults may have stiff joints, so stretching before and after exercise is important. This also could be a great opportunity to teach children helpful stretching exercises.
How can we prevent injuries?
Stretching before and after exercising – along with a warmup and cool-down – can help prevent aches and pains.
Warming up helps your body gradually get ready for more exercise and can lessen your injury risk.
If you are going for a brisk walk or run, start out slowly with a five to 10-minute walk, and do the same to cool down after your workout. Other good warmups include dynamic stretches such as leg swings, high steps or “butt kicks” (jogging slowly and kicking toward your rear end).
Stretching can improve flexibility, so try holding a few static stretches for 15-30 seconds, such as pulling your knees toward your chest, or bending over to touch your toes.
Should ice and heat be used to treat pain or an injury?
Ice will help with your pain if it is a new ache. Ice the pain for about 20-30 minutes. If it is an ache that has lasted over 48 hours, you can start using heat.
When should I seek professional help for injuries?
As long as the pain is bearable and you are treating it with ice and heat, you can wait. But if the pain is too much to bear, or if you don’t plan to treat it at home, seek professional help. If the pain persists more than five days, see a professional.
Watch as Tanner Eldridge demonstrates some helpful static and dynamic stretches to help you get warmed up and stay injury free.