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Warm up to your workout!

Published: Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 2:47 p.m. CDT

MK Orthopaedics is pleased to welcome to our practice, Dr. Rebecca Kuo, M.D., J.D. a specialist in surgical and non-surgical treatments of the spine.

•    She received her BA at Dartmouth College. •    She completed her residency at Rush University in Chicago. •    She completed her spinal surgery fellowship at the University of Texas in Houston.

Dr. Kuo treats the entire spine from scoliosis to spinal stenosis in children and adults. Whether it be neck pain, back pain or chronic pain to acute nerve pain, Dr. Kuo has been trained to utilize a wide array of surgical procedures including minimally invasive techniques to speed recovery time for her patients.

Q:    Since we have had such a cold winter, it has left a lot of us restricted to the indoors. What advice would you give someone who is ready to gradually start getting active again? A:    Take the time to warm up and stretch well before attempting any new exercise or even resuming an exercise not performed in the winter.  Even though you may feel ready to tackle a long run give yourself time to acclimate and gradually resume your normal level of activity. 

Q:    Can you suggest any workout activities that can be done indoors without having the equipment to do so? A:    Of course, during winters such as this one, it is still important to stay active.  Maintaining activity and conditioning can prevent injuries from clearing snow and slips on the ice.  Depending on one’s activity level, exercise can be accomplished through walking and other indoor activities.  Many malls allow space for mall walkers and some even open early to allow those seeking warm indoor spaces in which to exercise.  At home, one can work on maintaining strength through traditional exercises such as push ups (to your ability), squats, lunges, jumping rope, and core strengthening routine. 

Q:    How do you avoid injury during activities when you have been inactive for a long period of time? A:    Again, gradual but persistent return to activity, starting with non-impact exercises such as walking, cycling, and swimming.  If you enjoy group exercises like Zumba or aerobics do not be afraid to slow down when you need to or even step away and take a quick breather.  Don’t forget to get plenty of water and to stretch when you’re done.  Expect to be a bit sore from utilizing muscles you have not used in some time and ice down any areas if they are particularly painful, sore, or swollen.
Q:    How important is it to stretch after each workout?
A:    Stretching allows the muscles and their attachments to bone to become more flexible in a controlled fashion while the muscles, tendons, and ligaments are still warm from exercise.  It can help increase flexibility as well as prevent injury. 

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