To Your Health
April, 2015 (Vol. 09, Issue 04)
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When Your Workout Backfires

By Editorial Staff

Working out is part of your daily routine, and you love that it is. You get great satisfaction from your 3-mile run every morning while your family sleeps – but then one day, you twist your ankle as you round the corner of your street.

As the pain hits, you know something is wrong. Later that day, you consult with your family doctor, who confirms you have a bad ankle sprain.

The Treatment Plan - According to the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, the treatment strategy depends on how many ligaments were injured. Typically it is recommended that you rest your ankle, ice it to keep the swelling down, use a compression device such as a brace or an ACE bandage, and elevate your ankle above your heart. Unfortunately, ankle sprains can take six weeks to four months to heal, depending on the severity, so you may be on hiatus from your daily runs for a while.

Just as important, how do you prevent injuries such as this? WebMD suggests a warm-up and cool-down period for every workout, as well as stretching. Also, if you are working out after some substantial time off, you build gradually. Start with 30 minutes and see how you do. As your body adapts to your new level of activity, you can increase the duration and intensity.

Another suggestion is to vary your workouts; don't use the same muscles day after day. For example, if your workout involves weights, work out your arms on day one, your legs on day two, and so on. You can also vary the types of exercises you do to engage different muscles.

If you plan on beginning a new workout program, it's wise to consult with your doctor, who can suggest the best routine for your health needs and discuss ways to prevent and treat injuries if they do occur.