Quick quiz! What’s the most important system in the body in terms of physical well-being? If you said muscles, you aren’t too far off. In fact, it’s the entire orthopedic system, which consists of bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves that all work in concert to help you breathe, move, and even feel. But are you doing enough to take care of your orthopedic system? Here are our top tips for improving and maintaining your whole body health whether you’re in training or just being active for pleasure.
- Flexibility and Strength. All too often we see athletes who focus on one sport only and train all their muscles for a limited range of movements. This is counterproductive; you need to maintain equilibrium between training for strength and maintaining flexibility to get the best long-term results from your body.
- Healthy Diet + Water. Putting the right fuel into your body will keep your orthopedic system in its best condition. That means hydrating regularly with clear fluids, especially during warm or humid weather.
- Use the Right Equipment for the Task. Are you still wearing sneakers from the last century? Is your tennis racket grip worn and inflexible? Are you trying to perform activities wearing clothing that doesn’t allow for a full range of movement? Having the right equipment doesn’t mean expensive equipment, only that it must be in good repair and serviceable for the task at hand. Your well-being is worth more than a new pair of shoes!
- Technique Counts. Even if you only lift grocery bags once a week, using proper balance through good alignment can mean the difference between getting the food put away and a trip to a specialist.
- Partner Up. Exercising, working out, playing sports, or even just walking with a buddy helps you not only stay motivated but also can help you notice when something changes. Maybe your buddy tells you you’re limping slightly, or recently started missing those left-hand shots. Early detection and treatment by an orthopedic specialist can improve positive outcomes.
- Don’t Ignore Warning Signs. Pain is your body’s way of letting you know there is a problem. ‘Toughing it out’ or ignoring an issue, hoping it will go away only increases the likelihood that the sports injury will be more severe.
- The 10% Rule. Never increase your activity, distance, intensity, or weight lifted by more than 10% per week. This allows your body time to learn to cope with added stress in a healthful and balanced way.
None of these changes are expensive or time-consuming, and you probably already knew most of them, even if you didn’t think about how they might improve your orthopedic fitness. If you think you may have an orthopedic issue, please request an appointment with AOSMI today.
Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute is a medical practice located in Freehold and Monroe, NJ, our medical professionals are experts in orthopedic surgery, joint replacement, sports medicine, integrative wellness, spine care, physical therapy, and more.