Exercising is excellent for your overall health – you won’t find many people arguing otherwise. Still, you may end up doing more harm than good without the proper know-how. If you want to start working out but feel concerned about the risks, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.
It’s one thing to dream of lean muscles and trim physiques, but making it your reality takes consistent work and dedication. Thankfully, we’re here today with a guide that explains the best ways you can stay injury-free while exercising. It’s time to stop dreaming and start achieving.
Here are the best ways for you to avoid injury in your exercise routine:
- Wear the proper equipment.
- Do warm-ups and cool-downs.
- Observe proper form.
- Stay hydrated.
- Don’t overstrain yourself; start small.
- Add variety to your routine.
- Listen to your body.
Without further ado, let’s dive into each of these workout tips below.
#1 – Wear the Proper Equipment
Before you even try hitting the gym or jogging on the track, make sure you have the right gear! The proper equipment and footwear can and will make all the difference in your workout routines.
If you’re a runner, a quality pair of sneakers reduces the chances of injuries like shin splints. The cushioning in such shoes absorbs shock better than your bare feet or a pair of loafers will.
Additionally, you need specific equipment to enjoy many sports safely.
You shouldn’t be on the pitch playing football without shin guards, for example. Nor should you go cycling without a helmet if you want to keep your head protected.
Speaking of cycling, it sounds like a given, but make sure you wear reflective gear if you cycle at night! Runners should do so too if their paths take them near roads while it’s dark.
None of this is rocket science, but it all goes a long way to a healthier you.
#2 – Do Warm-ups and Cool-downs
According to the American Heart Association, warming up is an excellent way to prevent injuries in your routine. By preparing your muscles for exercise, you’ll also reduce your post-workout soreness.
An excellent way to get your heart pumping without tiring yourself out is jogging for 5 or 10 minutes. By the time you finish, your increased heart rate will prime you to dive into your more strenuous workouts.
Cool-downs are also crucial for reducing injury, especially after heavy cardio exercise.
If you fail to cool down after an intense workout, you may feel light-headed or even nauseous. To prevent those issues, resist the urge to drop and stop when you hit the wall; continue your workout for about another 5 minutes at a much lower intensity before you stop completely.
#3 – Observe Proper Form
Learning the correct form and range of motion for exercises helps prevent the most severe workout injuries. Even if you’re a strong person, trying to squat or bench heavy weights without experience is a recipe for disaster.
Thankfully, the online world is full of almost limitless resources explaining how to do various exercises correctly.
So before you dive into a new routine that looks cool or challenging, do some research! And when in doubt, contact a professional trainer to help you through it.
Consider incorporating core workouts into your routine as well. Proper technique for many exercises depends heavily on having a strong core. Improving yours will help you execute these techniques the correct way, thus preventing injury.
#4 – Stay Hydrated
It’s hard to overstate the benefits of staying hydrated.
In addition, if you’re working out to lose weight, water will help with that tremendously. Drinking water while exercising is linked to significantly increased metabolism.
And if that all wasn’t enough, hydration also helps stop post-workout headaches that many people new to exercising experience.
In short, water is your best friend if you want to avoid getting hurt while training.
#5 – Don’t Overstrain Yourself; Start Small
When you begin working out or trying a new routine, start small and slowly work your way up. This tip is especially true if you’re attempting to do strength training.
Pushing yourself too quickly is an easy way to get injured.
For example, jumping rope can cause significant pain in your knees and ankles if you aren’t used to that type of repetitive shock. If you put too much strain on them, you may even sprain your ankle or pull a muscle.
Another tip: When trying heavy lifting on the bench, ask someone to spot you! If you overestimate your strength or push too hard, they’ll make sure you’re not without help.
#6 – Add Variety to Your Routine
It’s always good to add a little spice to your life. And that’s especially true for working out.
A solid way to avoid injuries while exercising is by incorporating different types of workouts into your routine.
Shifting your focus between muscle groups each time you work out prevents any single muscle from getting overstrained. That’s why you’ll often hear people use terms like “leg day” or “arm day.”
Plus, mixing it up will keep your workouts more engaging and exciting. Motivation is a big part of maintaining your exercise routine, your mindset affects more than you may realise. So, if you find yourself getting disinterested in working out, try adding some variety.
#7 – Listen to Your Body
If you hurt yourself working out and find the pain persisting for days, don’t ignore it!
Many of the injuries you receive from working out can be scarily invisible from the outside. But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist or aren’t serious.
Minor injuries like a pulled muscle or shin splints typically won’t cause you any long-term issues. However, damaging a joint like your knee can bring chronic pain and mobility problems.
If you notice abnormal soreness or pain persisting for more than a couple of days, consider reaching out to your doctor. It’s hopefully nothing, but better safe than sorry. And don’t work out those muscles until you recover!
Bonus Tip: Does Stretching Help Reduce Injury?
To stretch or not to stretch – that is the question.
There’s some conflicting information on the web regarding stretching. Some claim that it helps mitigate your risk of injury. In contrast, others say it actually increases your chances of getting hurt.
So… which is it?
Generally, research has found that stretching doesn’t affect your chances of injury during exercise one way or the other. And that’s not too surprising, considering most routines don’t require you to be highly flexible.
Stretching can even increase your chances of getting hurt, albeit indirectly. Specifically, you shouldn’t use it as a substitute for warm-ups since it doesn’t prepare your muscles quite the same way.
Isn’t There an Easier Way?
Hey, we hear you loud and clear. It’s not a laziness thing – for most of you, we’re sure – but exercising can seem like a merciless slog sometimes. Worse still, a slog with limited rewards. (Especially as you get older and one tiny indulgent takeaway splurge undoes weeks of hard effort.)
Exercise and diet will always be essential ingredients in staying as fit and healthy as you can be… but too often people forget about the third option.
And the third option, well, that’s what we’re here for. CoolSculpting and EMsculpt may sound like elaborate methods for re-shaping your body, the kind of elite treatment that only celebrities can benefit from, but we have an ever-growing host of happy customers who know otherwise.
If you’re ready to explore the ultimate third option and give your diet and exercise routine its best chance for success, book your consultation with us today.