Must-do steps to avoid injuries and keep your body healthy and pain-free
So, finally you have committed yourself towards getting fit and you are eagerly waiting to see the positive results in order to achieve your fitness goals. The next sound you hear during workout is “Ouch” as a result of most dreaded injury during workout. All your fitness and healthful plans are derailed by this unexpected injury. Every person who exercises fears getting injured during workout. Injuries usually arise due to over doing of right activity or due to performing the right activity in wrong way. You must be able to go to gym regularly to get in shape. You should be able to train hard, burn calories and gain strength but that won’t be the case if you are hurt during your training. You must take precautionary measures in order to prevent yourself from pulling a muscle, sprains, over-training and strain. So don’t hurt yourself because you’re training the wrong way. Here are the top things you should do to prevent workout related injuries.
1. Know Your Body
Knowing your body’s limitation is the best way to avoid fitness injuries. It’s all about knowing weak areas of your body and avoiding the activities that push hard on those areas. For instance, a person with weak knee should not focus much on steppers, treadmill or leg presses or if you have a weak wrist you should not push yourself to lift heavy weights. The point is that if you know the weak areas of your body and you can’t build them slowly, it is better to avoid activities that might hamper your weak areas. Also you must be aware of what joints and muscles of your body are susceptible to injury. If you are not feeling well, you should better take some time off until your body fully recovers because taking a break is better than getting hurt for prolonged period.
2. Balanced Nutrition and Hydration
If you are training hard and lifting heavy but not eating properly you are likely to get hurt. Proper diet and nutrition will not only give you carbohydrates for energy but will also replenish the glycogen stored in your body for your next workout. The protein intake is also important as it will repair the muscles that you have just broken down during previous workout. Also during severe dieting try to avoid heavy training as it would only hurt your body. How you feel all day after you have trained depends a lot on what you eat. Nutrition must be considered as the extension of your workout. Also if you have sweated a lot you must replenish your muscles with the necessary water.
3. Warm-Up and Take it Slow
The easiest way to avoid workout injury requires repetition. A warm up is defined as the high-rep, low intensity and quick paced exercise that increases the blood flow to the muscles. You must always warm up before you workout. During warm up, you actually loosen up the tighten muscles and joints which gets more flexible during high intensity exercise. I can understand that there are times you just want to rush to exercise but going right into the intense training will do you more harm than good. Five minutes is all it takes to warm up. You must also slowly build the pace of your exercise over the time. The warm up could consist of riding a stationary bike, stepper, jogging or some high-rep weight training. You might also go for dynamic stretching before workout and static stretching after workout for your warm up.
4. Rest and Recover
You must set aside a day or two each week for rest and must perform light exercises or you might skip the exercise entirely. The rest time you allow your body helps your muscles to heal and makes them stronger. It takes almost three days for a muscle to recover completely. The strengthening of muscles prevents injuries during the future workouts. Our body gives us signal when to stop exercising. If the pain lasts more than 24 to 48 hrs or you simply feel tired then you need to rest. It is also important to provide rest to your muscles during workouts. You should not push yourself to the point of extreme pain. Taking a break is always better than getting hurt and sitting back for months.
Get Private Training/Personal Training
The best way to avoid the injuries during workout is to have some sessions with the professional or certified trainers. The trainer will provide you with much needed knowledge regarding your posture during exercise. He/she will ensure if your alignments are proper while you’re exercising, which goes a long way in protecting you from getting hurt. Also, getting professional training prevents you from doing wrong exercise for your body type and helps you in moderating your routine so that you don’t do too much.
6. Be Smart and Don’t Overdo
Another common cause of workout injuries is overdoing. You must try to listen to your body and you will know if you’re pushing too hard. This also goes with warm-up before and after exercise. Overdoing is quite dangerous when it comes to weight lifting. You might end up losing control of dumbbell and that can be disastrous. Doing an exercise again and again might help you perfect it but it can also set you up for an injury. Overtraining negatively impacts our body’s overall strength and conditioning. You simply can’t grow when you’re over-trained.
7. Stretch it out (Pre and Post Workout)
However, stretching has no direct role in preventing injuries but it does make your body flexible. A properly performed stretching session after warm up and before weight training helps in relaxing and elongating muscles. It results in warm and loose muscles for your workout. Static stretching between sets or at the end of the workout eliminates the next day soreness.
8. Strength Training
If cycling or running on treadmill is your primary form of cardio then no doubt your quads are strong. But what about you arms? When certain muscles of your body are strong and others are weak it pertains to injury by causing imbalances and also put strain on certain muscles. So, it is necessary to add two or so strength training sessions each week to your workout and focus on toning those week parts of your body that do not get much required attention.
Now that you know what to do and what not to avoid workout injury, I expect you all to have safe and fun exercise. From now onwards don’t get sidelined by the injuries. Take the right precautions and with a right mind set go for a fit body.