Most of us have experienced an injury at some point in our life and have had to take a step back from our training, sport or even just had to adapt our everyday living to accommodate. If you’ve never experienced an injury, keep that spotless track record going by adopting these healthy habits now so you don’t have to slow down. Whether you are starting a new exercise program, or are already a fitness buff, here are 7 easy ways to prevent injury during exercise.
Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
The whole point of setting goals is to achieve them, so be S.M.A.R.T. about your fitness goals. That is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Result-oriented, and Time-bound. Writing goals down and being accountable by involving a workout buddy also helps.
Get The Green Light
If you have existing injuries, health problems, or have never been active, get the green light from your doctor before starting to exercise. Talk about the type of activity and intensity level that is right for you and safe.
Don’t just rush into your workout. Make sure to warm up your body with gentle activity, like using a stationary bike. Cycle for 6-10 minutes on a hill program. If a bike is uncomfortable, use an elliptical machine or treadmill.
Easy Does It
Be mindful that you have to ease back in to exercise, gradually increasing your intensity and weights. Add new exercises one at a time so that you can monitor your body’s response.
Keep It Fresh
Constantly working out your arms will never give your muscles any time to recover. Change it up throughout the week to let parts of your body rest and recuperate. Keep a balances fitness program by incorporating exercises that work on muscular strength, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility.
Allocate time at the end of your workout to cool down. You’ll reduce recovery time, wind down mentally, and increase flexibility. It is better to stretch after exercise. Since the muscle is warm you reduce the risk of strain. It is also ideal to spend some time lengthening muscles after contracting them.
Listen to Your Body
A mild level of discomfort can be normal if you are new to exercising or increasing the intensity of your workout, but ongoing and sharp pain is not. Stop what you are doing. If you are in the gym, speak with a personal trainer. If it persists, seek medical attention.