New York Post—March 11, 2008
"Eighteen holes of golf - or playing a game of softball - doesn't seem like much to former high school and college athletes, but as we age, jumping into these activities without doing any exercise can be a setup for injury," says Joshua Dines, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery.
Dines recommends a three-part strategy to reduce the potential for injury when getting back into sporting activity. Always warm up, get into a consistent exercise program, and last, but certainly not least, listen to your body.
Warming up could be as simple as walking on a treadmill or jumping jacks for five minutes, followed by stretching the major muscle groups.
And tempting though it might be, resist the urge to cram all this activity into a weekend. While the ideal scenario would involve getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day, those planning to do weekend athletics should strive for a minimum of three days of activity during the week, according to Dines.
The good news is that these weekday workouts don't have to be boring; mix it up! Weight training, cardiovascular exercise, stretching, and sport-specific drills all count toward the 30-minute goal.
The author of this piece, Rock Positano, DPM, M.Sc., MPH, is the director of The Non-surgical Foot and Ankle Service at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. His column appears every Tuesday in the New York Post.