How to keep your body in shape when getting in shape

WABC-TV—New York—May 8, 2012

Many people are inspired to head outside and work out, but getting into shape can take its toll on your body, and there are common pitfalls that could sideline you. Lauren Glassberg is here with how to avoid them.

LG: The tips are coming from a very reliable source, a man who wears several hats. He's an Ironman; he's also a physician and he sees thousands of patients for sports-related injuries. By the way, he's run 29 marathons and done nine ironman competitions.

Dr. Jordan Metzl: If there were a drug known to make you live on average five years longer, have a longer, healthier and happier life and you didn't take that drug every single day of your life, you'd be crazy. But we have that drug. It's called exercise.

LG: And Jordan Metzl of Hospital for Special Surgery should know because he is a tri-athlete and a sports medicine doctor. He's also just come out with The Athlete's Book of Home Remedies.

Dr. Metzl: The tips I teach people are how to listen to their body, how to recognize what they can take care of on their own, which is most of the stuff, and then when they need to see a doctor.

LG: So for starters, avoid a back injury.

Dr. Metzl: The key for the back is strengthening the core muscles, the front and back of the spine at the same time. So the best way to do that is called an isometric plank. I love these. You can do them anywhere, anytime.

LG: Forty-five seconds a day will help significantly and if you're running or walking and you feel pain in your shin.

Dr. Metzl: When you get that with running, it probably means you're rolling too much.

LG: The fix, probably a better pair of running shoes that will prevent that roll. Now, how about the knee? Try building up the muscles around your knee with squats or the more challenging biometric jump squat.

Dr. Metzl: That starts to build all of the muscles around your hips, your quads, your glutes, that takes a lot of load off your knees.

LG: And when it comes to keeping up your energy, Dr. Metzl says to remember that calories are fuel.

Dr. Metzl: The key with energy is pre-fueling before your work-outs. So go get that bagel, get a banana, get something that you like to eat, eat it about 45 minutes, a half hour, before you work out and get out there and get going.

LG: And this Ironman physician knows that goals keep you motivated.

Dr. Metzl: If you have something that you're committed to a month, two months down the road, you're much more inclined to work towards that goal.

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