5 Tips To Prevent Workout Injuries
No one at the gym wants to get injured while working out. Injury prevention is a crucial component of exercise, yet it is one of the most overlooked. Without learning the proper precautions or seeking guidance from a fitness professional, you may be opening yourself up to more injuries that could interfere with your fitness journey.
Whether you’re a beginner or a fitness expert, it’s always a good idea to refresh your knowledge of injury prevention. Here are 4 ways to prevent injuries when working out:
1. Get A Good Night’s Rest
A good workout can start long before you even hit the gym. Getting enough rest helps your muscles and joints to recover from previous workouts and perform better for the next one. A good night’s rest can be an afterthought for most people, but it is important to get 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night. This allows your body and nervous system to recuperate, and gives your muscles enough time to grow and heal effectively.
2. Warm-Up and Cool-Down
It is essential to warm up and cool down before and after any exercise to protect your body from injuries like pulling a muscle. Warming up and stretching increases your body temperature, provides oxygenated blood to the muscles, and increases your heart rate to prepare for the workout. Warming up and cooling down ensures that your muscles, joints, and ligaments get the preparation and recovery needed for your workout. Some possible techniques include: jumping jacks, foam rolling, or a brisk walk on the treadmill.
3. Correct Form
Correct form is not only crucial to prevent injuries during exercise, but it is also imperative for everyday movements we make outside of the gym as well. For example, if you lift heavy objects without using the right form, you could severely injure your back or shoulders. Injuries like sprains, strains, and pulls can occur if you don’t adhere to proper form when exercising, training, or lifting. Proper form and posture helps keep your body, particularly your spine, aligned correctly. A personal trainer can help teach you the correct form for your exercise to ensure that you avoid injury while getting the best results from your workouts. It’s also important to pay attention to how you bend and twist in your daily movements to avoid injuries outside of the gym.
4. Proper Hydration
It’s best to hydrate your body before, during, and after your workout sessions in order to perform at your highest level every time. Staying hydrated throughout the day keeps your muscles from cramping either during or after the workout.
5. Use the Right Equipment
Most exercise-related injuries occur due to lack of proper equipment, such as clothing or shoes. Whatever exercise activity or sport you’re performing, make sure you are equipped with the appropriate clothing and footwear. For example, exercising in worn-out shoes, especially on hard surfaces, can cause extra stress on your legs and feet, which can lead to conditions such as shin splints, runner’s knee, and Patellar tendonitis. Choose a good sneaker with a enough cushion to prevent ankle, knee, and lower back pain.
You may not think special clothing is necessary for certain activities, but there is a reason why biking shorts are padded or why certain workout clothes are designed to wick sweat. However, you don’t have to spend a fortune on a specific brand or top-of-the-line features. Just make sure it provides ample protection against impact, strain, or overheating. A personal trainer can also point you in the right direction in this area.
With the right education and preparation, injuries can be prevented at all stages of your fitness journey. While the tips above can guide you, it is most important to just listen to your body. While there is a “no pain, no gain” mentality in fitness, overdoing it can be dangerous.
There’s no need to exert yourself past your body’s limits. Just be patient with yourself during your fitness journey, and again…listen to your body. And your personal trainer!