Most of us know how bad it can be to get injured while exercising. You have been putting in time and energy to get fit and then you have to take a break so you can heal. Injuries aren’t 100% preventable, but with these easy tips you should be able to continue your workout routine injury free.
- Always warm up. Having a proper warm up is very important for injury prevention. Most injuries happen when joints and muscles are still cold and tight. Cold muscles do not absorb shock or impact as well. Warming up gets your muscles and joints ready for strenuous exercise by gradually stretching and loosening them up. Start every workout with at least 5 minutes of light cardio, after that you will be for a gradual dynamic warm up that slowly stretches and warms up the body.
- Know your limits. Especially when starting a new exercise program, it is important to not over do it. Always work up to a new challenging activity. If something is hurting more than just normal fatigue it is important to stop and take a break. Some tiredness and soreness is normal, but if you are experiencing sharp pains or light headedness it could be something more serious. It is good to push yourself during exercise but if you are just starting a new program or running routine it is important to not over do it.
- Stretch properly before and after exercise. Stretching is a very important step for preventing a sports injury. Stretching can increase the flexibility of a muscle-tendon unit which leads to greater range of motion. The more freely you are able to move the less likely you will be to experience muscle tears. Stretching also increases blood flow to the muscle, which will also help prevent soreness and fatigue. We highly recommend a dynamic warm up before your workout and static or yoga stretches after your workout.
- Rest and recover after a hard workout. Getting enough rest after exercise is essential to high-level performance. If you don’t allow your body to have a rest day after a challenging exercise or when you are sore, your body isn’t able to rebuild the muscles and energy stores you have depleted. Torn muscles can only repair when they are allowed to rest. If your muscles are in a constant state of fatigue your entire muscular system will not be able to function therefore you are more likely to injury yourself.
- Get lots of Sleep. When you live an active lifestyle, getting at least 7 hours sleep a night is essential. If you are tired, not only can your body not perform at a high level you are also more likely to make a miss step or fall while doing a routine exercise move. If you are tired, or your body is weak, you won’t get very far toward meeting your fitness goals.
- Listen to your body. You should be able to tell when something is wrong. If you notice a pain that isn’t improving you should stop exercising and see a doctor before it gets worse. Often times an injury can quickly heal with some rest and recovery.
- Tell your trainer. If you have an injury, or have been injured in the past, it is very important that your trainer or fitness instructor knows. They will be able to modify all exercises so you will be less likely to re-injure yourself.
- Injured? Don't give up! Find exercises that you can do to keep your fitness level up. Seeing a physical therapist is a great way to quickly heal an injury so you can get back out there. Being injured is no fun, hopefully these tips will help keep you healthy and allow you to continue to live a happy and healthy active lifestyle!