Wednesday, 14 of November of 2018

Tag » Exercise Tips

Summer Is Officially Here on June 21: 5 Tips To Stay Fit This Summer





Friday, June 21 is the first day of summer, although here in Southwest Florida, it feels like summer arrived a few months ago!  The heat and humidity are always a challenge to staying fit if you’re one of the many people who enjoy outdoor activities for exercise.

To beat the heat, book the earliest time available for a game of tennis or golf. Take a swim in the pool – Southwest Florida is said to have more pools and golf courses than anywhere else in the U.S.  Or, go for a jog around the block in the evening or walk on the beach at sunset. Whatever exercise you choose, here are some tips to keep in mind.

#1  Keep hydrated and wear sunscreen- Drink plenty of water to prevent any risk of dehydration or heat stroke, and wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, it’s alarming to note that there are more new cases of skin cancer each year than the total combined cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer.

#2  If you’re over 50 and rarely exercise, it’s never too late to gain the benefits from being physically active. According to the Harvard Medical School, a Swedish medical study found that “men exercising regularly for 10 years or more decreased their death rates.” In fact, exercise made as a big a difference as quitting smoking. If you haven’t exercised in a while, schedule a check up with your doctor first.

#3 Exercise, stretching, avoiding smoking and maintaining an appropriate weight so you don’t stress your joints is important for physical well being. But Harvard Medical School also found that exercise can make a difference in mental function, including reaction time and thought processes such as planning, scheduling, coordination, focus and memory. Here’s what they had to say: “People who exercise regularly will have less mental decline. Physical activity appears to be as least as important in staying mentally sharp as keeping your mind active and maintaining strong social connections.”

#4  How much exercise and what kind? Aim for three times a week, or even better every day for at least 30 minutes. Include both aerobic exercise that raises your heat beat, and flexibility and conditioning exercises that stretch the ligaments, tendons, muscles and joints.

#5.  If you start experiencing joint pain, lessen the intensity of the workout or take a break from the activity for a while.  Icing the tender area, taking anti-inflammatory medications or applying topical creams can help.  But more intense pain, limited range of mobility and tenderness that doesn’t go away should be seen by a doctor.  For a consultation or more information, call board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Kagan at 239-936-6778 or go to

Spring Fitness Training Tips



It’s no surprise that Florida has been the destination for Major League Baseball’s spring training for the past 125 years. Florida’s warm, sunny climate allows the professional ball players to get in shape, stretch their muscles, increase their flexibility and build their stamina before for the start of the regular baseball season.

Here in Southwest Florida, its easy to catch a spring training game. Fort Myers is host to the Red Sox and Minnesota Twins, while Port Charlotte hosts the Rays and Sarasota welcomes the Baltimore Orioles.

But getting in shape is not just for the pros. Take a tip from the athletes and consider stepping up your own level of fitness this spring. Move a little, live longer. Take advantage of recreational activities and exercise outdoors before it gets too hot here in Southwest Florida.

Before you begin, here are a few tips from the experts, including the American Academy of Orthopedic Specialists, to help you avoid injury while you condition your muscles and joints.

Start Slowly: If you haven’t exercised all winter, give your body time to adjust. Some fitness experts suggest that several 10-minute exercise sessions a day can be just as effective as a hard 30-minute workout.  Monitor your level of exertion and don’t overdo it at first.  A good rule of thumb is to increase your training by 10 percent each week – this includes the time of your workout, the amount of weight you lift or the miles you run.

Cross train: Vary your exercise or sports activities so you’re not overusing the same muscles, tendons and joints every day, which can lead to injury. A schedule that includes a variety of activities, such as running, weight training, tennis, bicycling and swimming, as well as stretching and flexibility training with yoga or Pilates will be better for your body.

Don’t train through pain: Minor aches may be normal as your build your level of fitness, but pain is a signal that you’re overdoing it or using improper technique, both of which can lead to injury. For minor pain, take over-the-counter anti-inflammation medication, get some rest and ice the area of discomfort. For more serious pain, see a medical professional.

Stay hydrated: Florida’s warm weather and sunshine may be a benefit, but you can easily become dehydrated in the heat. Drink plenty of fluids before and after exercising. Protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB radiation by applying sunscreen and wearing a hat.

Exercise is important to maintaining healthy strong bones and muscles at any age.  But if you haven’t exercised in years, you might want to schedule an exam with your physician first.  And remember, even parking the car further away from the store, taking the dog around the block, climbing the stairs rather than taking an elevator, or strolling along our beautiful beaches is a step in the right direction.

Dr. John Kagan has been providing orthopedic care to the greater Fort Myers community for more than 30 years and has extensive experience in sports medicine.  He and his partners have been team physicians for the Minnesota Twins Baseball Team during spring training for many years.  For more information go to

Tips for staying active as you age

While there may be no single fountain of youth, you can slow down the aging process by staying physically active. Regular exercise enhances muscle and joint function, keeps bones strong, and decreases your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Here are some tips developed by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons that can help you exercise safely.

Warm Up
Always take time to warm up and stretch before physical activity. Research studies have shown that cold muscles are more prone to injury. Warm up with jumping jacks, stationary cycling or running or walking in place for 3 to 5 minutes. Then slowly and gently stretch, holding each stretch for 30 seconds. Do not stretch cold muscles.

Cool Down
Just like warming up, it is important to cool down. Gentle stretching after physical activity is very important to prepare your body for the next time you exercise. It will make recovery from exercise easier.

Consistent Exercise Program
Avoid the “weekend warrior” syndrome. Compressing your exercise into 2 days sets you up for trouble and does not increase your fitness level. Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. If you are truly pressed for time, you can break it up into 10-minute chunks. Remember that moderate physical activity can include walking the dog, working in the garden, playing with the kids and taking the stairs instead of an elevator. Parking on the far end of a parking lot will increase the distance you have to walk between your car and your destination.

Be Prepared
Take sports lessons. Whether you are a beginner or have been playing a sport for a long time, lessons are a worthwhile investment. Proper form and instruction reduce the chance of developing an “overuse” injury like tendinitis or a stress fracture.

Lessons at varying levels of play for many sports are offered by local park districts and athletic clubs.
Invest in good equipment. Select the proper shoes for your sport and use them only for that sport. When the treads start to look worn or the shoes are no longer as supportive, it is time to replace them.

Listen to Your Body
As you age, you may find that you are not as flexible as you once were or that you cannot tolerate the same types of activities that you did years ago. While no one is happy about getting older, you will be able to prevent injury by modifying your activity to accommodate your body’s needs.

Use the Ten Percent Rule
When changing your activity level, increase it in increments of no more than 10 percent per week. If you normally walk two miles a day and want to increase your fitness level, do not try to suddenly walk four miles. Slowly build up to more miles each week until you reach your higher goal. When strength training, use the 10 percent rule as your guide and increase your weights gradually.

Balanced Fitness
Develop a balanced fitness program that incorporates cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility. In addition to providing a total body workout, a balanced program will keep you from getting bored and lessen your chances of injury.

Add activities and new exercises cautiously. Whether you have been sedentary or are in good physical shape, do not try to take on too many activities at one time. It is best to add no more than one or two new activities per workout.

If you have or have had a sports or orthopedic injury like tendinitis, arthritis, a stress fracture, or low back pain, consult an orthopedic surgeon who can help design a fitness routine to promote wellness and minimize the chance of injury.

For more information on bone and joint health or to discuss your orthopedic care and concerns, please contact our office at 239-936-6778 or visit

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