How to Start Exercise Without Getting Hurt

A prior injury, or current one you’re nursing, can make you extremely cautious about starting exercise or resuming activity. It’s an earned caution and you want to honor it while gradually increasing your activity level. This Flipping 50 TV episode takes a look at how to start exercise without getting hurt even if you’ve got a special condition.

Start Exercise Without Getting Hurt

Today’s question comes from Tina who writes she is“…having several problems from arthritis, bursitis, and sciatica.  I am weary of what approach to take. When I’ve tried to work out in the past even yoga I ended up hurting myself and having to do physical therapy for weeks to recover.

The conditions that Tina asks about are a combination of acute and chronic conditions. They require rest from activity that worsens them and active participation in stretches and exercises that can improve movement mechanics to you can avoid flares and heal. Arthritis is a chronic condition but the right movement is the way to prevent it from worsening. Bursitis and sciatica are conditions that need time to heal before resuming regular activity (or beginning it if you’ve not been exercising).

Tina asked about starting with “Juicing the Joints” from The Whole Flip dvd series, working on mobility and strength surrounding joints and she was spot on with that solution to her own question.

Juicing the joints is a set of exercises intended to strengthen muscles surrounding commonly injured joints in older adults. They are good for starting or restarting an exercise program if you’re afraid of getting hurt and good “check ups” for those of us already active.

While you’re healing a chronic condition with the right movement there’s more you can do if you’re afraid of getting hurt. A common topic here at Flipping 50 is reducing inflammation with your diet.

Most of us have some inflammation – from not always eating optimally or from an injury causing pain – but we have room for the inflammation so it isn’t limiting. If you have a chronic condition, however, you have less wiggle room for that additional space inflammation takes up.

If you have room in your diet for improvement, it’s an easy way to begin feeling better fast. Don’t worry! It’s not nearly as limiting as you might thing! Here at Flipping 50, if we ask you to remove something we give you a “flip” so you have a substitute that tastes equally good but is way better for you!

Stress Less

In addition to inflammation we need to talk stress. Tina’s self report of stress is a 7/10. Changes you can make in the kitchen along with the right exercise are going to help reduce that stress. When you know you’re on a path to feeling better and have a plan – your stress level can change in minutes.

Minute Made

Breakfast for Tina was coffee, coffee, and coffee. Lunch was a bagel. For dinner she did fairly well with protein and veggies.

But she snacks on pie and fruit, both sugar. Even natural sugar can increase inflammation so I’d love to see Tina fit in more vegetables with soups and creative ways to make them. I’m in the middle of making a simple broccoli soup. I show how fast it is to make a broccoli soup packed with micronutrients.

[In episode 9,  I shared a list to see how you can improve your inflammation. You can grab that list and download it now.]

Dairy, sugar, gluten, wheat, and eggs all contribute to inflammation. For those with an autoimmune disease, nightshade vegetables are worth removing to see if you feel better. Those include tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant.

Coffee can protect you against inflammation to a point, but if you’re already inflamed or hormonally imbalanced, or both it elevates cortisol and insulin and this increases inflammation. So a cup, you can get away with. Three cups is like asking for pain – or belly fat.

Elevated cortisol is not going to help your inflammation. Sweetening with sugar or artificial sugar, or adding dairy to that coffee increases inflammation.

Flip one of those cups out for bone broth…or better yet a smoothie… and then tuck a bone broth in your purse for lunch or a snack. Pack your smoothie full of greens, berries, cinnamon, and matcha. (Get my favorite recipes right here). Antioxidant-rich foods plus protein will give you longer lasting stamina and energy than coffee does.

Add a piece of salmon, half a sweet potato, or some berries to a bowl of this soup for perfect lunch. Here’s the recipe for the soup-er simple (couldn’t resist) recipe I make all year!  The recipe is from a program in Flipping 50’s Virtual membership.

Creamy No-Cream Broccoli Soup


  • 1 T avocado oil
  • ½ to 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound broccoli flowerets,
  • 3 ½ cups bone broth
  • ¼ cup soft goat cheese
  • Sea salt and black pepper


Melt avocado oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the onion, carrots, and celery about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.

Add the broccoli and water and bring the soup to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the goat cheese and 1 tsp sea salt.

Remove from heat. Use an immersion blender to blend soup in the pot or transfer in batches to a large blender. Season with sea salt and pepper.  

Broccoli is rich in sulforaphane, which helps detoxify, and can help fight osteoarthritis that commonly occurs with age.

When it comes to dinner,be sure your meat is grass-fed not conventional grain-fed.

Then, make double and carry your leftovers to work the next day. Cook once and eat at least twice! Consider adding some resistant starches to dinner. They’ll help you sleep and sleep can be a problemif you’ve got inflammation.

Supplements that help reduce inflammation:

  • Curcumin (key ingredient in Turmeric)
  • Omega 3 (and particularly DHA)
  • Paleo protein – no soy, dairy, sugar or artificial sugars(PLUS packed with skin-loving collagen)

Foods that naturally help reduce inflammation:

  • Avocado
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Salmon

Once you’re reducing inflammation from the inside out you can more comfortably focus on exercise.

how to start exercise without getting hurtMuscles in Minutes

Tina is using “Juicing the Joints” from The Whole Flip DVD series to get started getting stronger and more mobile without causing additional inflammation. Focus on mobility, then stability to start exercise without getting hurt.

Next, begin walking – one of the best exercises you can do. Start with what feels easy – 10 minutes a day, for instance – and add 2 minutes to that a week until you’re walking 20 minutes. The key to start exercise without getting hurt is to do less than you think you can. Finish while you still feel good. Don’t push your limits too far but do explore.

Next, walk 20 minutes twice a week and on a third day of the week increase your walk by 2 minutes a week until your walking 30 minutes one day of the week.

Walking is one of the most balanced exercises you can do and if you can, add water walking. The added resistance of water with less stress on joints will also help you increase strength and stamina without triggering joint issues. It may be a good way for you to start exercise without getting hurt if you have access to a pool.

Warning: there is no one-size fits al. So monitor yourself. If anything hurts leave it out.

FLIP: WAIT one hour after waking before exercise, including core exercise and you will reduce your risk of injury to the disks in your spine. That simple act of patience will help you start exercise without getting hurt.

Inevitably, a women wants to know how to start exercise without getting hurt that targets those areas that are most problematic. How to safely do core is question for all of us! Here’s easy series that fuses core, stretches and strengthens the body very gently and provides a way for you to begin moving right away.

  • Flat back “100”
  • Side leg series
  • Prone Alternate arm and leg
  • Side Leg Ball lift
  • Bridge with both hips
  • Plank with hands on a chair or couch

*Keep in mind not all exercise is appropriate for every body. Check with your physician before beginning any exercise program.

Finally, it’s natural to be afraid of getting hurt if you’ve had a history of injury. Yet, your body was meant to moving. The positive effects of exercise for your muscles, bones, and brain as well as your mood far outweigh the negatives of staying inactive. Start. Progress slowly. Get someone to work with you until you learn to pace yourself. You can start exercise without getting hurt if you begin at the right place and progress slowly. Pain begins in your brain: here’s more about pain. 

The Key Flip of the Day:

Reduce inflammation with nutrition – which can help improve how you feel almost immediately and reduce inflammation from exercise by building up strength gradually.

Don’t miss the next – and final –  episode of Flipping 50 TV Season III next week! (and the juicy special program offer just for our subscribers).

If YOU have an autoimmune issue, dairy (including whey) is not the wisest choice. Go with Plant Power or Paleo Power proteins void of common allergens to reduce inflammation. Hint: you’re not seeing progress? Your protein level could be too low and your fat and carbohydrate levels are too high. Let protein and veggies take center stage.

Clean protein is the key. Shop for made-for-you clean protein that makes it easy to get it in especially at breakfast.

Need more support? STRONGER I is a 12-week strength training program designed for you. If you are apparently healthy, just want to take care of your joints and get a quality workout in (in about 30 minutes twice a week) OR you have more time and want to focus on cellulite reduction, check out these two programs made for women in perimenopause and beyond based on science, proven here at Flipping 50. See testimonials from women just like you. 

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