How often have you heard the expression, “No pain, no gain”? It can apply to many life situations, including exercise to shape up, tone or drop weight. But when pain is severe or prolonged, you gain nothing and stand to lose a lot!
There are a number of tips to help you stay safe to avoid workout injuries. Some of them include:
- Warming up – Warm muscles are far less likely to tear than cold ones. So, if you’re going out for a run, walk a bit first, then trot before you go into full running mode. Stretching your muscles, especially the ones you’re going to be using, also helps you to avoid injury.
- Cooling down – The same is true when you end an exercise session. You can’t just automatically stop when you are finished with your workout because this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. Using running as an example- slow down to a walk again before you just stop your exercise. It’s also important to stretch out those muscles again.
- Staying hydrated – Water, water, water! Drinking water before, during and after a workout replaces fluids lost from sweating and exertion, especially important in warm or hot weather.
- Taking it easy – You can’t expect to run a marathon your first day out. Start slowly and build in terms of time spent and exertion level for your workouts. For example, if you’re engaging in weight training, you don’t want to start with the heaviest weights; you want to start small and gradually increase weight levels.
- Listening to your body – Don’t continue your workout if suddenly you find yourself in pain. Your body is trying to tell you something. Ignoring it can only make it worse, so stop whatever you’re doing and give your body a few days to recover before starting up again.
- Making sure you’re wearing the right shoes for the exercise – This is really important to reduce the impact of the exercise on your body, particularly your ankles, shins, calves, knees and other joints.
- Learning the proper technique for the workout – Make sure you know the proper technique for any new workout routine you are attempting for the first time. Correct technique is as important as warming up to avoid injury.