1) Focus on strengthening problematic areas, especially as they relate to your sport of choice.
If you've had a pain site somewhere in the past, dedicate a little extra time to make sure that joint or muscle gets attention to prepare it for the sport. For example, swimming, racket sports, or overhead sports all require some level of scapular stability and rotator cuff strength. Check in with a PT to help pick the right exercises for you.
2) Strength train regularly and have a gradual plan on approaching your goal.
One major part of the equation is strength. Without it, endurance can be low and the amount of activity you participate in can take a toll on the body. Add strength training 2-3 times a week for at least 20 minutes for the benefits of improved health and stronger bones, muscles, tendons etc.
3) Take some data on any pain you feel and check in with a physical therapist.
Muscle soreness is normal to experience after a new or difficult workout and should dissipate after 72 hours. Pain - however should be paid attention to. Try to take notes on what it was that set off your symptoms. Anything that lasts longer and really limits your function, interrupts your sleep, or causes you to move differently should be made note of and assessed by a physical therapist or other qualified HCP.
4) Set small goals.
Small, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely goals are what we call "SMART" goals. These small wins can help improve your consistency and keep you motivated and encouraged as you highlight the progress you have made!
5) Manage your volume.
Too much, too fast is a major cause for overuse injuries like IT band pain, tendon pain, shin splints, or stress reactions/fractures. Make sure you gradually make your newfound activity a part of your regular routine by managing minutes from shorter workouts and working up and by allowing rest days.
What activity do you hope to do this year? Have you started? What are you most excited or nervous about?
Share BELOW or drop any questions you have in the comments!