Headed for a workout? Stretch before you sweat. - KMSP-TV

FOX Medical Team

Headed for a workout? Stretch before you sweat.

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ATLANTA, Ga. -

Starting a new workout?

Stepping things up?

If you want to avoid an aching back and creaky knees, Dr. Amadeus Mason, Assistant Professor of Orthopedics at Emory Sports Medicine says stretch before you sweat. He says, "If you're going to start running, do some "prehab," and make sure that you're doing some exercises for the new activity you're going to start picking up."

Whether you're running - or walking – Dr. Mason says invest in good shoes. He says, "There's no type of shoe that fits one person versus another exclusively. Nike, New Balance, Brooks. They all can be good for some people but bad for others. Go to a store that knows what they're doing about fitting people for shoes for running or for walking."

Once you've got a good fit, think about the surface on which you'll be exercising. He says vary the surface, "Don't only run on trails, don't only run on concrete."

Wearing breathable fabrics will help keep you from overheating as Georgia warms up this Spring.

If you suffer from joint pain - like knee pain – Dr. Mason says make sure you stretch - and warm up - the larger muscles that support your knees, like your quads and hamstrings. For back pain, he says, slowly stretch forward and backwards, to loosen up your muscles. Dr. Mason says, "If you haven't gotten and relief after a couple of week, you should seek a professional help. Because sometimes back pain itself is not coming from the back, it's coming from the hips, it's coming from the kidneys."

And sometimes the best way to ease - joint pain - is to lose a few pounds. Mason says, "There have actually have been studies that show for each pound of body weight you lose, it takes 5 pounds off of your knee joints." Meaning that if you can lose just five pounds, you will take about 25 pounds of pressure off your knees.

For some ideas on how to stretch, check out the Mayo Clinic's guide to ten basic stretches.

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