It’s almost inevitable that doing any physical activity for extended periods of time will result in minor injuries and nagging aches and pains. These can be kept to a minimum or even avoided all together if we practice using safe forms and follow the advice of an experienced trainer.
Injuries have been my biggest setback in the past. And even today I still get nicks and bumps . . . now and again.
It has delayed my fitness progress in the past and as a consequence I have learned to avoid them as I learn more about quality versus quantity exercising. The trick is to do your routines in a systematic and controlled manner.
If you are just starting a workout program, hopefully you are using the experience of a Personal Trainer to help you reach you fitness goals. If you are a seasoned exerciser there are still some things we tend to overlook or forget where safety is concerned.
Some of the most common injuries I have had to deal with, not just for myself but for those I worked with, could have been prevented by following certain rules.
How to prevent injuries
- Before starting any exercise program it is imperative that you get a health check-up. And let your doctor know that you plan to start working out. Get their advice on your limitations.
- Be in the moment. Many times we lose focus when working out . . . your mind is elsewhere – thinking about the kids, the job, your relationship, what to eat, worried about the next health check-up. What ever. You must put these thoughts aside and focus on the task at hand.
- Use weights or resistance equipment that allows you to complete ten to twelve repetitions.
- As you advance and start increasing the resistance give your body enough recovery time. By doing this you are allowing your joints and muscles to replace tissue that was destroyed from the stress of activity.
- Recovery time also means getting enough quality sleep so that your body can be re-charged for the challenges of the next day.
- You must eat the right foods to supply your body with the necessary energy . . . not just for your workouts but to power you through the day.
- Every cell in your body normally needs water to operate smoothly but especially when you are working out. Drink quality water before, during and after exercising. The best is local well-water. No need for any the popular sports drink.
- My best workouts in the gym happened when I worked with an exercise buddy or workout partner. They can help with spotting you on heavy lifts or tell you how to improve your form.
- As mentioned above, a Personal Trainer can help you get to the next level in your fitness journey. They can show you a variety of routines and how to do them correctly. This is super important. Many injuries are the result of using poor form . . . even when doing cardio.
- Wear proper clothing when working out. You want to wear material that will wick away sweat instead of confining it under your shirt.
- Be sure to wear foot-gear appropriate for the activity you plan to do. For example wear high top sneakers for ankle support when playing basketball, and proper running shoes for the track or treadmill.
- If something hurts don’t continue doing the activity that resulted in the pain. Address all aches and pains.
- Before starting your workouts warm-up your body by doing a light cardio and flexibility session.
- A complete flexibility program should be done at least twice per week.
- If you are pre-diabetic you must know the signs of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. It can literally save your life. There is ongoing research to determine the effects these conditions on people with pre-diabetes. In my experience in dealing with borderline diabetics who exercise regularly, there is the potential danger of injury due to these condition. Be mindful by paying attention to your body’s signals.
There ! If you follow these rules you will cut-down or eliminate most if not all injuries when you workout.