Your Health: Keys to safe exercise

It's easier on your body when you work your way up to an exercise program, according to doctors.
It's easier on your body when you work your way up to an exercise program, according to doctors.

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - 29-year-old Johnny Ellison is still in good shape. He loves to play basketball with his friends, but about a month ago, he hurt his knee.

"Just playing ball, every morning, three days a week pretty much," said Ellison.

One day after a four hour workout, he said the knee was very sore and he went to the doctor.

"It's just Tendinitis in my knees. Need to work out these muscles right here," added Ellison.

Those muscles are just above the knee and will help him in the future.

Dr. Randy Riel is an orthopedic physician who touts the benefits of exercise.

"I think exercise is good for everyone. It's probably one of the few things that we can use to offset natural aging. It's really the fountain of youth: exercise and proper diet," said Riel.

Shooting hoops is only one of several sports that can actually do damage to your hips and knees. But if you listen to your doctor and take it slow, he can make certain that you score every time.

Riel said the idea is moderation.

"The main key that I see people with exercise is that they start too much, too quickly. And that would probably be the main advice that I would have is to start an exercise program slowly," he said. "Give your body a day of rest in between exercises and mix up exercises and don't do the same thing every time, because it has a tendency to overwork certain muscle groups."

He said there are some exercises which are harder on your joints than others. He said start with some simple and low impact.

"By low impact I mean things like cycling, walking, elliptical trainers are wonderful machines for exercise and fitness - it's low impact on joints. Swimming is probably the best form of exercise out there; it's just hard to get access to that," he added.

By pivoting with a few precautions, and leaving the fast break to others, you can benefit your body without damaging your joints.

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