By Robert Weiss, DPM
According to a clinical perspective published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology from the ACC Sports and Exercise Cardiology Leadership Council, people should be more alarmed by the impending harm from a lack of exercise than of any harm exercise may possibly cause. During the past decade, more and more physicians are telling their patients to get physically active.
New research shows, one in three patients who visit a physician or other health professional, had been told to start or maintain physical activity or exercise. This is important especially with the large number Baby Boomers who are now retiring.
The research data shows that doctors appear to be targeting obese and overweight patients. Millions of people are trying to improve their lifestyle as they are beginning to realize that they can reduce their health risks and lengthen their life through exercise. This, however, is not so simple. As the body ages there is less elastin and you begin to feel stiff. This loss of elastin and flexibility opens an avenue for injury which will not heal as easily or as fast. The first signals of injury are swelling and aching. However, lack of flexibility is not always the cause of foot, ankle, knee and lower back problems, but often an imbalance of the bones in the feet that will result in “overuse” or stress on the structures. Warm-up exercises for flexibility are a must before any athletic activity to help any muscle or tendon injuries. Jogging, walking briskly, or a few short sprints will allow the muscles and tendons to get ready. Strengthening exercises for the muscles, especially the front lower leg and upper thigh, are also necessary to help prevent injury. Other preventative measures include wearing only the best athletic shoes for your sport.
Robert F. Weiss is a podiatrist specializing in foot and ankle surgery,
He was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 and
1988 Olympic Marathon Trials. Weiss is a veteran of 35 Marathons & has a practice in Darien, affiliated with Stamford Hospital and member of Stamford Health Medical Group-Foot & Ankle Institute, and resides in Westport.
For info visit his Web site at www.stamfordhealthmedicalgroup.org
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