Exercise is a powerful part of wellness. It not only helps you manage your weight, but it also reduces your risk of many diseases. According to the CDC, moderate-intensity aerobic activity helps prevent cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. It can also improve your mental health and boost your mood. Recent research found that middle-aged people who engaged in aerobic exercise for two years reversed age-related stiffening of their arteries, even if they had avoided exercise for most of their lives.

While exercise is only one aspect of wellness, it’s one many people focus on at the start of the new year. If you’re planning to exercise more in 2019, here’s how a healthcare advisor can help you get the most out of your workouts:

1.Prepare ahead of time. If you’re excited about a new fitness plan, it’s easy to overdo it. Instead, start slow and ease into it. Talk to your doctor before you get started, so you’re aware of potential risks. This is especially important if you have any preexisting conditions. Your doctor can help you choose an exercise plan that’s right for you, based on your health and fitness goals. They can also recommend a workout frequency and intensity level. Dr. Ricky Singh, a specialist in sports medicine and Co-Director of the Center of Comprehensive Spine Care, notes that it is important for women to take rest days and change up their routines. Want help finding the best doctor for a pre-workout checkup? Call Better Health Advisors.

2. Take full advantage of your insurance benefits. Chances are, your health insurance plan includes wellness benefits, and Better Health Advisors can help you make sense of them. If you’re thinking of joining a gym or buying exercise equipment, we can review the details of your plan and help you make the smartest choices. Depending on your plan, you may be entitled to health coaching, nutrition counseling, personal training, or discounts on gym memberships and exercise classes, among other things.

3. Listen to your body. If you feel pain after starting a new fitness routine, or after repeated workouts, should you worry? Many exercise-related injuries are mild and can be cared for at home, but it can be hard to tell a sore muscle from something more serious. If you’re unsure how to treat a minor injury, want professional help with an ongoing or more serious condition, or have questions about when it’s safe to start exercising again, we can put you in touch with experts in sports medicine.