Medscape Health by Medscape
Many of these articles appear on the publication's website, which are often password-protected or members-only. For your convenience, I've gathered them on my own website.

>Smart Search (Click Here) >Drug Lookup (Click Here)
Browse Topic Centers
Go to Medscape
Home Library Topic Centers Health Tools Community Marketplace Privacy & Ethics Help
January 21, 2002

Table of Contents

" Introduction
" Get the Right Equipment
" For Women Only

Related Resources

Topic Centers
  • Health & Wellness
  • Sports Medicine & Fitness
  • Weight Management
  • Women's Health

  • Library
  • Drug Lookup

  • Article Level: Advanced
    | NEXT

    Overuse Exercise Injuries: Too Much, Too Soon

    Carol Milano, Medical Writer
    Printer Friendly
    Add To My Library
    Email to a Friend


    Photo Baby boomers trying to stay fit are hiring personal trainers, taking up new sports, and launching ambitious exercise programs. But too many of us are ending up with injuries from overuse of muscles and joints, victims of "too much, too soon."

    Actually, overeager exercisers of any age are susceptible to the "too much, too soon" syndrome. But boomers in particular must be sure to heed the demands of their unforgiving "parents": Mother Nature and Father Time. That¡s because the younger you are, the more resilient your body is. But as we age, we gradually lose strength and flexibility, leaving us more susceptible to injury if we choose an inappropriate activity, exercise too intensely, exercise for too long or too often, or even switch to a new surface.

    The Women's Sports Medicine Center, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York City, offers expert advice on how to get in shapeÂor stay in shapeÂwithout overdoing it.

    Do a Body Inventory

    Before beginning any fitness program, inventory your entire body: neck, shoulders, trunk, wrists, knees, feet, heart, lungs, etc. Is there a weak link? If you have a medical condition that might be made worse by exercise (for example, asthma or chronic knee pain), check with a doctor. You may need to strengthen a weak area before you start, or you may need guidelines for setting up a program that will work for you even if you have a particular health concern.

    Check Your Attitude

    When people decide to get into shape, the initial burst of enthusiasm can actually cause problems later. Don't start out by exercising for an hour at a time. Don¡t work out every day at first, or even every other day. The key word: GRADUAL.

    Take the Talk Test

    When you are doing any cardiovascular activity (such as jogging or rowing), it¡s OK to feel slightly out of breath, and your heart should beat faster than usual. But if you gasp for air when you try to talk at the same time you are exercising, your pace is too fast.

    Forget "No Pain, No Gain"

    Don¡t listen to anyone who says you should just "run through the pain." According to exercise physiologist Robyn Stuhr, from the Women¡s Sports Medicine Center, "Pain means something is going wrong in your body! You're harming a muscle, a tendon, a joint." If you don¡t stop when something hurts, you risk serious injury

    Find the Right Exercise Partner

    The best fitness programs combine three types of exercise: cardiovascular (aerobic), weight training, and flexibility work.
    Is your spouse a more serious athlete than you are? If you still want to exercise together, pace yourself. Take breaks until you're in good enough shape to follow a demanding program. At the gym, don't just imitate that big strong guy nearby--he may have been working out for years!

    Page: 1 of 3 | NEXT

    Members Sign In



    Forgot your password?




    Smart Search (Try This)

    © 1999-2001 Medscape Portals, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
    About Us |  Terms of Use |  Help