Skip to main content

The sun is finally shining more, and if you’ve fallen off the workout wagon, now’s the time to hop back on.

It can be tough to stick to an exercise routine, even though we all know that not moving has long-term negative effects on our health. This is the ideal time to get going again.

MetroHealth Rehabilitation Institute physical therapist Theresa Poyma, who specializes in sports medicine, offers this simple step-by-step plan:  

See your healthcare provider.

Get a checkup if it’s been a while, just to see if there are any health issues you need to address before you exercise.

Take it slow.

Want to run a mile? Start small and build up. Take a brisk walk, and gradually add in a minute or two of light jogging. Increase it over time.

Warm up.

A few minutes of walking and some simple stretches are the smartest way to ease into a workout. Warmed-up muscles are more flexible, which helps you avoid injury.

Go techy.

Fitness apps and trackers can help you see progress. “You can even set a reminder on your smartphone to get up every two hours,” says Poyma. “Even if you just walk around the parking lot at lunch or up and down the stairs at home, it counts.”

Get good shoes.

Avoiding pain and injury starts with the right footwear. Choose well-fitting, comfortable sneakers that match your activity, such as trail-walking shoes with ankle support if you’re heading outdoors.

Find free options!

Before spending bucks on a gym membership, ask for a free trial or experiment with classes on YouTube. Silver Sneakers and community centers often have free classes for older adults who are on Medicare.

Hit the trails.

Experiencing nature is good for your body and your soul — and it’s free. Cleveland Metroparks has hundreds of miles of trails to choose from. Download the Metroparks app. Or, participate in the MetroHealth Trail Challenge for motivation!

Know when to ease up.

Feeling mild muscle soreness is normal after a workout, especially if you’re just starting out. But if you feel more than that, take time to heal. Try the RICE method — rest, ice, compression, elevation. “If that doesn’t relieve pain in 48 hours, or if you have sharp pain, bruising and swelling, see a doctor,” says Poyma.
Metrohealth Rehabilitation Institute

In case of an injury, MetroHealth outpatient physical and occupational therapists are available throughout Northeast Ohio. A physician is required. Appointments for adults and children, Call 216-778-4414


Theresa Poyma

Physical Therapist| MetroHealth Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy