Proper exercise is important during pandemic, orthopedic surgeon says

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — If you’re not at work during the coronavirus pandemic, then you may be missing out on more physical activity than you realize.

Dr. Michael Patterson with Precision Sports Medicine and Orthopedics said it’s important to get that activity, but people need to do it the right way. Exercise has a lot of benefits, both physically and psychologically, and people who are working from home might not be getting as much as they typically do.

“I think a lot of us don’t appreciate how much we’re on our feet during the day when we work and how much mileage we actually get during the day walking around,” Patterson said. “So making up for that outside or exercise-wise is very important.”

But if you don’t exercise the right way, it can lead to issues, and Patterson said he’s starting to see some overuse injuries, strains and sprains. He said stretching before you work out is key, as is hydration. But you need to think about that long before you start to exercise.

“Once you start to feel thirst you’re obviously behind, and your hydration is not where it needs to be,” he said. “And you can run into some problems especially if you’re walking a long distance and you get away from home.”

Wearing the right kind of shoe also is important. If you don’t, it can lead to a chain of issues from the feet to the knees, hips and back.

“You may have worn down the arch or the supporting structures of those shoes, so then you’ll put more stress over your feet,” he said. “And you certainly see, a lot of times, people develop stress fractures or injuries like that related to poor shoe wear.”

Patterson says many long-distance runners get new shoes every couple months to make sure they have the proper support.


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