8 Crucial Steps To Follow To Prevent Injuries While Exercising
No matter what the experience or fitness level, every person that exercises dreads injury. So much so, that fear of injury is reported as one of the biggest barriers to exercise by older adults. Furthermore, beginners too have an overriding fear of getting an injury. Even walking, which is one of the simplest forms of exercise, can cause an injury when not done correctly.
Few things to keep in mind before starting out your exercise routine
- If you’re a woman over the age of 55, you must consult a health care professional before you start an exercise program to know if you’re healthy enough to work out. The same rule applies to a man over the age of 45 or a person with any medical condition.
- It’s best to consult a trainer or a fitness expert before starting a weightlifting or exercise routine to create a safe and realistic exercise program.
- Make sure you wear the right gear for your workout. If you are a runner, wear a comfortable pair of running shoes that fit well. If you are a dancer, wear good knee guards.
Here is a step by step guide of fitness tips by which you can significantly cut the risk of getting hurt:
Step 1: Warm-up
A warm-up preps your body for exercise. The purpose of a warm-up is to increase your heart rate and loosen your muscles and joints. Start out with easy warm-up exercises like neck tilts, shoulder rotations, calf raises, knee lifts, hamstring curls, and chest expansions etc.
Step 2: Stretch
One should never stretch a cold muscle. Make sure you stretch only after a warm-up. Static stretches, wherein you hold the stretch before a workout or competition-decreases your strength, power, and performance. Stretching significantly helps in increasing your flexibility.
Step 3: Ease into it
You don’t want to start with lifting the heaviest of weights on your first day. When you start with an exercise routine or a new workout, start at a slow pace. As each day passes, build up the intensity, duration, and frequency.
Step 4: Know your trouble spots
Most people focus only on certain body parts and overuse one set of muscles. Try different exercises. Repetitive movements of the same muscle could lead to injuries. Repeating the same muscle movements frequently can lead to injuries. Diversify your workout routine with different fitness equipment so that you do not overexert one body part. Another way to prevent injuries is to opt for high-quality equipment.
Step 5: Cross-train
Tailor your workout session around your problem areas. If you have a problem area, try strengthening it without overworking it or doing exercises that hurt. Consult your doctor. Most of all ensure you start lightly.
Step 6: Fuel your body
Keep hydrating before, during, and after you work out. It is advisable that you drink at least 0.2 litres water every 15 minutes. Avoid gulping down water in one go. Instead, take regular but small sips of water.
Make sure you have a small meal or snack every 2 to 3 hours to ensure a steady source of energy for your body. After your workout, include a healthy carb and protein snack to restore your energy supply.
Step 7: Avoid Overexertion
If you ignore the consistent pain that keeps arising from a particular exercise then you are setting yourself up for an injury. Working out doesn’t mean you have to push yourself to the point of pain. If you feel pain, then there is a good chance you may be injured. It’s best you stop your workout for that day and take rest.
Step 8: Cool Down
A cool-down is as important as a warm-up. It serves the purpose of slowly bringing your heart rate back to normal.
Keep in mind to take 1 to 2 days off a week to rest. Resting days give your body a chance to recover between strenuous workouts. Keeping these simple fitness tips in mind will ensure that you benefit from your exercise routine and lower your chances of injuring yourself.