Spring Exercises: Staying Active and Injury-Free

18 April 2021

Spring is here, and the weather is becoming nice and warm. With the enjoyable weather comes the opportunity to switch your workouts – such as hiking and running – to the outdoors. If you plan on taking advantage of the spring season, be sure to stay safe and take the correct precautions to remain injury-free. Here are a few simple tips from the physicians of Premier Orthopaedics’ East Norriton office.

1.) Hiking is a phenomenal full-body workout, and a great way to enjoy nature. Since hiking is a weight-bearing exercise, you’re able to build muscle mass, reduce the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, and boost your bone density. However, when embarking on a hiking adventure, it's important to wear the proper footwear to prevent injuries. "Investing in a sturdy pair of hiking boots will save your feet when trekking through the trails," says podiatrist Vincent Muscarella, DPM. "Hiking can cause several foot-related problems, such as arch pain, blisters, sprains and fractures. Purchasing proper-fitting hiking boots that are lightweight, durable and waterproof will allow you to walk for miles without discomfort and lessen the chance you’ll slip and get hurt," explains Dr. Muscarella.

2.) It's that time of year to lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement. Running is a beneficial spring activity for not only your physical health but also your mental well-being. Going for a run regularly can reduce stress, improve heart health and strengthens joints. With that being said, running is commonly known to cause orthopaedic injuries, such as runner's knee – a common term to describe a condition that causes pain around the kneecap. "Runner's knee occurs when there is repeated stress on the knee joint," explains orthopaedic surgeon Dennis McHugh, D.O. "To prevent runner's knee, you should always stretch, strengthen your muscles, wear proper running sneakers, and gradually increase your training regimen," states Dr. McHugh.

3.) Shooting hoops and playing a game of pick-up ball is a fun, competitive workout with many health benefits – like improving your endurance, coordination and balance. Nonetheless, all sorts of injuries can occur when at play. "While basketball is an enjoyable, fast-paced sport, players can sustain sprained ankles, broken or jammed fingers, and strained muscles, among other injuries," states orthopaedic surgeon Timothy Amann, D.O. "Before stepping on the court, you should stretch your muscles, wear the appropriate attire and ensure the environment is safe to prevent injuries," says Dr. Amann.

4.) With the weather clearing up and roads being ice-free, cycling is another popular spring activity. Biking is a top-notch cardio workout that strengthens your lower extremities. Cyclists typically do not sustain serious injuries, but if they do, it’s commonly hand and wrist fractures. When falling off a bike, the natural reaction is to extend your arms, which can injure your upper extremities. "Landing on an outstretched arm can cause hand and wrist fractures or sprains," explains John Pasquella, D.O. "While not all falls can be avoided, it's best to take the right precautions to prevent the possibility. When cycling, be aware of your surroundings, maintain proper posture and wear appropriate gear to prevent skin abrasions (i.e., padded gloves),” states Dr. Pasquella.

Be sure to enjoy the weather and partake in spring activities that get your body moving. If you or someone you know needs orthopaedic care, Premier’s specialists are here to help. To schedule an appointment, please call our East Norriton office at 610-630-4414 or request an appointment online.