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How to avoid exercise and fitness related injuries
If you’re an avid fitness freak and believe that exercising regularly is the key to healthy living, then you would be aware of the different workouts and their advantages. While it’s important that you choose a routine that you would enjoy, you must also consider factors such as your age, health, height, weight, and your endurance; you cannot trek if you’re severely asthmatic or go horseback riding if you suffer from chronic back pain. This doesn’t mean that you cannot do what you like. But you must choose your physical activities carefully to ensure that it doesn’t worsen your health condition.
It would be wise to start off slowly and with expert guidance if need be. If you’re starting a new sport, enrol for classes. You could even check out online forums for beginners’ exercises. Learn the fundamentals and when you are absolutely certain that you can manage, chart out an exercise routine for yourself. Get enough information about the exercise. Know the pitfalls if any and avoid them to not injure yourself. Pace yourself; don’t exercise only over the weekends and not do anything the rest of the week. Spending sometime every day regularly lowers the risk of injuries and also maximizes the benefits.
You must warm up and stretch your muscles before starting on your treadmill or Pilates. Warming up also improves the blood flow to the muscles and hence they become better toned. You must introduce your body gradually to the physical routine. It’s believed that you should make changes to your workout at the rate of 10% every week. This would ensure that the muscles and joints that are otherwise stiff due to the lack of exercising are not injured. Since most of us don’t do many physical activities everyday, our body needs time to get acclimatized to lifting weights or jogging an extra lap.
You could try out different exercises to lower the risk of strain. You would not only enjoy the routine better but also be working out the different muscles and joints of the body. Go swimming one day a week and do cardiovascular exercise another day. You could do aerobic exercise after some weeks of doing an anaerobic routine. With such a schedule, the entire musculoskeletal system is exercised thereby reducing the risk of injuries.
When your body is telling you to stop, do so immediately. Don’t stress yourself out. There are exercises that are exclusively meant for those of you who are prone to fitness related injuries. You must work your way up the routine; this slowly helps in raising the temperature of the body. When you notice swelling or intense pain, change to a different set of exercises. There are some workouts that you can do only after you attain a certain level of fitness. If you would like to include new exercises in your regimen, do so with caution. Don’t take on anything that your body cannot handle.
Ensure that the exercising equipment is of high-quality. Many a time injuries could have been avoided if only the reliable apparatus was bought. Get your gear from sports stores that sell authorized items. When it’s time to replace the equipment, do so immediately. Look for worn-out cycle chains, loose screws, or if the supports are sagging. Don’t rush to buy sports goods from a store that is having a clearance sale. You will have to see for yourself if the equipment is in a good enough condition. Double check for defects and see if they can be repaired. Look for warranty. You don’t want to end up with an injury because of faulty equipment. Comfortable gym wear and shoes would not only make it comfortable for you but also prevent injury. You must use the gear only for that intended sport—running shoes cannot be used for a game of football.
You must hydrate your body sufficiently well especially after a strenuous workout. Injury due to fatigue is also serious and since the energy reserves are lowered after an exercise session, you must quickly replace the lost energy. Sports drinks should be had about 30 minutes after the workout. You can then start on another round of workout once your muscles recover. You must not exercise immediately after a meal or before a meal; a walk could be alright but not a jog.
Don’t assume that stretching only before you start on your exercise regimen is important. It’s essential that you cool down after the workout and only then resume your other activities. A very low intensity walk or jog is a good way to lower the temperature. You would remain flexible and also reduce your risk of exercise related injury. Also, even if you miss out on your routine for a couple of days it’s a good idea to stretch your muscles at least, to minimize injuries when you get back to your normal schedule.
While there are steps you could take to avoid fitness related injuries, it would also be wise to know some fundamental first-aid care to ensure that the injury isn’t aggravated due to lack of timely care. You could take a non-steroidal painkiller. You must rest the strained area. If you would like to apply some ice, wrap some in a towel and place it over the injury. You should place the injured area over an elevation. You must see a doctor as soon as possible.
Once you are used to exercising, you will realize that staying committed isn’t an issue after you see the fabulous results coming your way. When you’re injured and cannot exercise, you would probably have to keep off your fitness regimen for sometime. However, you can always consult your doctor to see if there are exercises that you could do to stay fit; in case you have pulled a thigh muscle, you may only be able to walk short distances instead of your regular sprinting. If you have recently had an injury or are recovering from one, you must consult an orthopedic and get started on your exercise regimen only under the care of a physiotherapist.
You must seek approval from your doctor before starting any new exercise program. Please read our Terms !