Exercise has been show to decrease depression symptoms, improve self-esteem, and provide a sense of accomplishment.
The time is arriving for indoor activities to make their way outdoors and into the sun. Jared Kam, MD, sports medicine and family physician at Bingham Memorial’s Orthopedic Institute, highlights some of the benefits of exercise, but also provides some sage advice for working out safely.
“Physical activity is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle,” says Dr. Kam. “Exercise has many positive affects on our bodies and souls, including better memory and learning functions and improved moods and self-esteem.” Exercise has also been shown to:
- Increase strength and flexibility of muscles
- Increase density of bones
- Improve cardiovascular efficiency
- Lower blood pressure
- Normalize sugar levels in the blood
- Increase the lungs ability to get oxygen in the blood and improve coordination to prevent falls
With all of its positive effects, exercise does have potential risks. Injuries can occur and pain can be debilitating, leading to missed time at work with significant recovery or healthcare costs. “If you have pain in your limbs or joints, starting an intense exercise program may not be the right thing for you,” says Dr. Kam. “A sports medicine physician can evaluate you prior to beginning an exercise program or sport and give you tips or treatments to get you ready to participate safely.”
Being active is an important part of your overall health, but pain can leave you hesitating to make the right step. While joint pain is most commonly associated with arthritis, repetitive physical activity, and injury can also cause damage or pain. Here are several ways to help protect your joints while enjoying the great outdoors.
- Remember to use proper stretching and warm up techniques.
- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after a workout or physical activity.
- Allow time for your body to cool down by taking a walk after vigorous activity.
- Use proper equipment (footwear, braces, and helmets).
- Consult a doctor if you have repeated or lasting pain in/or around the joints.
If joint pain is keeping you from exercising, Dr. Kam treats injuries sustained by sports and recreational activities, concussions, and illness as well as injuries or troubles that occur from simply living life. Dr. Kam is always welcoming new patients and has offices in Idaho Falls and Pocatello. To schedule an appointment, call (208) 478-2449.