Injuries from exercise usually resulted from poor form, over-training, or for us klutzes out there common mishaps. These injuries from exercise can at the very least temporarily halt our fitness goals. More serious injuries can put us on the couch for a month or longer.
Sometimes the fear surrounding the idea of injury can be more debilitating than the injury itself. That fear can keep you from taking up something you never knew was possible. To help prevent these kinds of injuries it’s best to be like the boy scouts and “be prepared.”
Try these tips to help you avoid injuries from exercise in the beginning.
- Consult your doctor regarding specific concerns you have. Your doctor can help you determine what is a good starting point for your skill level. Remember to walk before you run.
- Always warm up. Light aerobic activity gets your heart rate up and loosens up your muscles, and is a good thing to do before jumping into your workout. After your sweat session, take a few minutes to cool down and catch your breath.
- Slow and steady. Whether it’s your first time with an exercise program or you’re getting back into it after a few months, take it easy. Gradually build up the intensity, length and frequency of your workouts over a period of time.
- Cross-train. Repeating the same activity time after time can result in an overuse injury. Try alternating exercises such as swimming, walking, biking and group fitness classes each week. And take a day or two every week to recover.
- Hydration and fuel. Water is important before, during, and after your workouts. Eating a small meal or snack in the hours before and after your workout helps replenish the energy you expended at the gym.
- Always check in with yourself after workouts. Feeling “sore,” is normal. But if you’re still feeling discomfort more than 72 hours after your last gym trip, you should consult your doctor.
No one is immune to injury. But keeping in mind these tips along with some patience and resting between sessions, your risk is greatly reduced.