The 9 Most Effective Ways to Get Your Best Body
Goal: Avoid injury
Winning Strategy: Don't do too much too soon
Researcher: Joe H. Gieck, professor emeritus of sports medicine and clinical orthopedics at the University of Virginia
"Whether you're weight lifting or running, start off doing about half of what you think you can do," says Gieck. "If you're comfortable, maintain that level for a week, then go up each week in 10 percent increments until you reach 80 percent of your maximum exertion."
For more experienced exercisers, poor posture or movement mechanics might be the cause of aches and pains. Check your form in the mirror -- your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles should all form one line. Ask a trainer to help you assess your posture and your body mechanics. Finally, says Gieck, don't forget to listen to your body. If you feel more than just mild muscle soreness, take your workouts down a notch, and wait until you feel fully recovered.
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