Irrespective of how long you’ve been going to the gym or exercising, a workout injury can happen to anyone and put an unwanted brake on your fitness regimen. Some workout injuries can be quite dangerous, so it is vital to have precautions in place so that you remain fighting fit at all times.
The most common problems that you can suffer during an exercise session are:
- Knee pain
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Straining the lower back or the pectoral muscles
- Spraining an ankle
- Getting a tennis elbow
- Wrist dislocation
- Pulling a muscle
Prevent Workout Injuries 101
Keep the following tips in mind before you start exercising to have a productive and safe workout.
1. Wear Fitted & Comfortable Shoes
Your shoes are the most important part of your workout attire. They should fit your feet snugly without being too tight or loose. If your toes hurt when you take them off, that’s a clear sign that you need better-fitting shoes. Ensure that the shoes you workout in have a thick and cushioned sole, which can take the impact of your body weight on the hard ground.
2. Warm-Up & Cool Down
This should be a part of every holistic fitness session. It helps your body to ease into the process and increases your heart rate, which is very helpful for cardio. You can warm up by jogging in place for a few minutes or skipping. Stretching during a warm-up allows your muscles to become more flexible and improve range of motion, reducing the chances of an injury due to tightness. After your workout, bring your body back to its normal state by cooling down with a slow walk, mat exercises, and deep breathing.
3. Switch Up Your Routines
Going through the same routine day after day can strain a specific set of muscles and cause inflammation and soreness. To prevent this, try different kinds of fitness regimes, like moving from cycling to yoga to running. Not only will this keep you from over-straining your muscles, but it will also keep you involved and enthusiastic.
4. Stop, If It Hurts
This is one of the cardinal rules of working out and for a good reason. If you feel pain in any part of your body, that’s a signal that you’re doing something wrong or you are overworking yourself. Stop immediately, and give it a rest for a short period of time or till the pain goes away entirely.
5. Focus On Your Posture
While running or lifting weights, your body goes through a lot of pressure. At a time like this, it is vital to maintain good posture and alignment. If you are lifting weights, make sure to lift with your knees and not your back. If you are doing squats and burpees, do not put an excessive amount of pressure on your knees.
6. Wear The Right Gear
A lot of injuries happen because you are not wearing the proper gear for it. Stay comfortable and protected by wearing the appropriate clothing for your regimen. Clothing made from sweat-wicking fabric is great for keeping you from overheating. If you are practising yoga, choose clothing that you can stretch in easily, or if you’re into cycling, always wear padded shorts that keep you from getting sore or developing rashes. In the gym, wearing loose clothing, or clothes that have dangling straps or tassels are an absolute no-no as they can get caught in the equipment and cause you to fall or lose your balance.
7. Fuel Your Body Correctly
If you are pushing your body to perform to its full potential, it’s critical to give it the right nourishment as well. While you should not work out immediately after a meal, don’t exercise on an empty stomach either. Consume filling but healthy food with the right amount of carbs and protein to recharge your energy. Staying hydrated is equally important. Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout.
8. Acknowledge Your Body’s Limits
It is neither healthy nor sustainable to cause your body pain and damage in the long-term by overstraining yourself. Especially if you have preexisting health conditions that can worsen by putting pressure on it. If you have issues such as spondylitis or a previous injury, avoid straining your shoulders and knees respectively. In a bid to become fitter, you may end up being a tad overenthusiastic and end up hurting yourself and putting a stop to your workout for much longer than you anticipate.
9. Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
A lot of us zone out while we exercise, either to music or a fascinating podcast. Some gyms and fitness centres even install televisions to keep their clientele occupied while they work on their bodies, but in the middle of all these distractions, you must not lose your focus while using different kinds of equipment or stretching. Especially while using a treadmill, remain cautious while getting on and off the machine. Or if you are running outside, be aware of traffic and uneven ground.
10. Talk to a Professional
Talking to an experienced professional who is certified in this field will give you a clear idea of what you should be doing to achieve your fitness goals. More importantly, a trainer will also advise you on the things you should definitely avoid doing, based on your medical history and level of fitness.
You push yourself to workout because of the desire to become better versions of yourself, but proceeding without vigilance and precautionary measures can make you stay away from your fitness routine for far too long. You must learn to take care of your body to keep it at its fittest and healthiest.