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How to Protect Your Bones and Joints Enjoying Fall Workouts

One of the best things about calling northern Indiana home is the beauty of the seasons. As we move toward fall, with its stunning colors and ideal temperatures, many people switch up their activities and workouts to take advantage of the beautiful fall weather.

Dr. Michael Rosen and Nurse Practitioner Taryn Kaiser of Cameron Orthopaedics have suggestions for ways to enjoy fall activities while keeping your bones and joints safe from injury.

1. Don’t Jump in Too Quickly

It’s easy to get excited about the thought of starting a new exercise program or physical activity. Dr. Rosen and Taryn warn people not to overdo it at first. They say ta gradual return to exercise is the best way to avoid injury. “It’s just like New Year resolutions, if you try to do too much all at once, there’s a greater chance for unrealistic expectations and burn-out.”

“To protect your joints and prevent injuries, you should start slowly and gradually increase your activity level,” says Dr. Rosen. To discover what type of fall activities you should be doing for your current activity level, he recommends following the advice of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The site is a great resource for information including exercise and bone health.

2. Stretch Before and After

Dr. Rosen emphasizes the importance of stretching before and after workouts. He says he knows it’s tempting for people to skip this step, but says it’s an effective ways to avoid joint injuries. He also said stretching offers additional benefits for your body, including increasing your range of motion for a more effective workout.

“Taking an extra three to five minutes to stretch helps your body warm-up before any activity,” adds Taryn. She also points out the benefits of taking time to stretch and cool down post-workout. “Stretching after a workout lets your body recover after being pushed to perform.”

3. Switch Up Your Workouts

To keep your joints healthy, Cameron Orthopaedics team recommends changing your activities from time to time. Taryn says alternating days of activities that focus on your upper or lower body help prevent any one area from becoming sore. Dr. Rosen adds that switching activities has plenty of advantages.

The changing seasons is the perfect opportunity to add variety. For example, running outside during cooler fall weather instead of on a treadmill will not only help your body, but also your enjoyment and excitement level about working out. They also both point out that interval training, such as switching from walking to short periods of running, is a great way to add variety and help build endurance. You can also try something completely new such as kayaking or paddle boarding. One of the great things about living in northeast Indiana is the access to amazing outdoor areas and various lakes, including Pokagon Park that offers a wide range of activities.

4. Listen to Your Body

When it comes to physical activity, it’s best to listen to your body for clues to when you’re overdoing it. According to Dr. Rosen, a bit of soreness a day or two after strenuous activity can be expected, but sharp or sudden pains shouldn’t be ignored. He recommends getting medical attention and evaluation for sudden or severe pain, which could indicate a new injury.

If you do have a bit of soreness or stiffness in your joints following exercise, Taryn recommends alternating heat therapy with icing of the joints. “Alternating between hot and cold can help lessen pain and inflammation of the muscles and joints. Resting a day or two between workouts is also a good idea.”

5. Know When to See a Healthcare Provider

If you are experiencing sudden or severe pain, contact your healthcare provider right away. In addition, Dr. Rosen says you should see a physician if you have a recurring injury or condition such as arthritis that is causing you pain or disrupting your normal routine.

“People always think the answer to orthopaedic issues is surgery,” he says. “But actually, the vast majority of treatment options are conservative, non-operative and extremely effective.” This misconception about a rush to surgical solutions often causes people to put off seeing an orthopaedic specialist, but Dr. Rosen assures patients that there are many treatment options available, including rehabilitation and therapy services.

Cameron Orthopaedics offers a team approach to care. By having an orthopaedic surgeon who is focused on sports medicine and general ortho care plus a board-certified nurse practitioner on staff, Cameron Orthopaedics offers patients increased access to care. “Having a nurse practitioner of Taryn’s caliber is a definite advantage for our patients. She is able to provide trustworthy care every day, even when I’m in surgery,” says Dr. Rosen.

6. Have Fun!

Both Dr. Rosen and Taryn say that the best way to stay healthy is to find activities that you enjoy. For Taryn, that is running. She likes to switch things up by adding trail running to her usual routing. She also recommends getting off of the treadmill and running outside, especially in the fall with its cooler temperatures and beautiful scenery. She says many people are taking up cross country running, which is a great idea for this time of year.

Dr. Rosen likes to stay active by biking and golfing, which he says is a great low impact exercise for people of any age. He also recommends other low impact activities such as swimming, hiking and walking. Autumn is a beautiful time of year where we live, so get out there and make the most of it.

Reviewed by: Dr. Michael Rosen, Cameron Orthopaedics

Michael Rosen is a board-eligible orthopaedic surgeon, focused on sports medicine and general orthopaedic care. He is now accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, call Cameron Orthopaedics at 260-667-5556 or schedule online.

Reviewed by: Taryn Kaiser, Cameron Orthopaedics

Taryn Kaiser is a board-certified nurse practitioner focused on orthopaedics. She is now accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, call Cameron Orthopaedics at 260-667-5556 or schedule online.

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