Dr. Natasha Withers: Whether you're a seasoned athlete or a newbie, being smart about how you exercise can help avoid sports injury. Acute injuries can sometimes develop into chronic problems. So it's important to try and prevent injuries from occurring in the first place. Exercise regularly at moderate intensity. Don't be a weekend warrior, packing a week's worth of activity into a day or two.
Instead work out a little bit everyday. Warm up and cool down every time to reduce the risk of strains or sprains. Learn proper form and use equipment in good repair including shoes.
Set reasonable goals and gradually increase the intensity or frequency of your workouts to achieve them. Be aware of your limits and don't push yourself beyond your current ability.
Try not to fall into the same routine. Instead pursue a mix of activities to balance muscle strength and prevent injuries caused by overuse. If you do get injured listen to your body. If certain moves or activities hurt, then stop. Working through the pain will only make things worse. If your doctor recommends rehab, be diligent about physical therapy.
If you're injured, allow yourself time to recover. Doing too much too soon can delay the healing process and may even cause more damage. Once you're back to fitness fulltime, practice your anti-injury protection plan every workout.
I am Dr. Natasha. Live well!