Help your body warm up for spring activity, Shake the Lake

collage of 2016 Shake the LakeThe promise of warmer weather is calling many people outside to exercise.

Maybe they're training for a 5K or the marathon or want to get in better shape. Whatever the motivation, a Carle doctor urges people of all ages to listen to their bodies to guard against damage to their hearts or other muscles.

“Exercise has so many benefits,” said Karen Wiarda, DO, of Carle Heart and Vascular Institute. “It improves emotional and physical health.

“But, people need to listen to their body, especially their heart, when they go for a walk or run.”

Here's an opportunity. Carle’s annual Shake the Lake 5K fun run is on Saturday, April 8. The run begins and ends at Crystal Lake Park. Free parking is available at the park and the Champaign County Fairgrounds. Coffee, fresh fruit, water and cinnamon rolls will be available after the event.

Shake the Lake 2017 t-shirts, front and backParticipants can pre-register for $10 by noon April 5 at Get Me Registered.com. Same-day registration fee is $15 and starts at 7:30 a.m. the day of the event. 

If you have questions about the event, please email wellness@carle.com.

Dr. Wiarda says regardless of the event or form of exercise, people need to look for the following warning signs while exercising:

  • Having to stop several times to catch breath
  • Chest or jaw pain
  • Back pain
  • Dizziness

“If people have those symptoms while exercising, or at any time, they need to talk to their doctor right away and discuss potential heart risks,” Dr. Wiarda added.

 When beginning an exercise program, Dr. Wiarda recommends:

  • Start slow
  • Set a comfortable pace
  • Exercise with a friend or take a cell phone on your walk/run
  • Watch for symptoms that you’re overdoing it

“Healthy people need to keep exercising, even if the first few walks or runs don’t deliver results. Exercise is hard work, but the benefits to the body are worth it,” Dr. Wiarda said.

See Dr. Wiarda talk about starting an exercise program on WCIA-TV.