Whether you’re older or younger, a newbie or a pro, you’re prone to injuries when you fail to do the things necessary to your workout success. Men, particularly those past the age of thirty, start to lose muscle mass. If you’re one of them and is working out in the gym, you might require specific warm-up exercises for certain muscle training.
It’s because some exercises are likely to cause injuries than others. While working out, you might be too focused on the outcome or is in a hurry to go for it. Warm-up exercises and other precautions, though seem unimportant, contribute to the degree of your workout success. Preventing injuries is much easier than recovering from one. The recovery period might also take longer, which can sabotage your workout goals.
The most common workout injuries include sprains, muscle strains, tendonitis, torn meniscus, back strain, ankle sprains, and rotator cuff tears. You can avoid all these injuries by following the workout tips below.
1. Consult your general practitioner
Simple cardio exercises like walking or jogging may not need the opinion of a health professional. But if you’re a total beginner in the gym or are having medical conditions, it’s wise to consult your doctor. They can provide you important information on your body’s capabilities or modifications necessary for the success of your fitness goals.
2. Assess your current capabilities
Some people want to establish an exercise routine because of some physical issues like painful knees, inflexibility, problems in balance or excess weight. Targeting your body’s weaknesses can help you pinpoint the type of exercises you can begin with. From there, you can incorporate other types of exercises as you go along.
3. Start with simple exercises
No matter how eager you are to achieve your desired body or desired fitness level, starting with simple exercises is still the best way to go. It not only helps you start strong and safe, but it also provides you the mental benefit of creating a routine that doesn’t cause you mental strain.
Difficult exercise routines can awaken your inner desire to resist. By taking baby steps, you’re creating the best conditions for your mind and body to ease it up and avoid unwanted injuries.
4. Never forget to warm up
Warming up allows more oxygenated and nutrient-filled blood to flow to your muscles, which offers a big help as your heart rate starts to speed up. Warm-ups also reduce muscle stiffness and potential muscle injuries. The best pre-workout warm-ups include walking in place with arms swinging, hops, rotations, and chest expansions. Do any of these for five to ten minutes.
5. Educate yourself with the proper techniques
If you come to a point where you can include high impact exercises in your routines, never start one without knowing the proper techniques to do them. This is where injuries commonly occur – when you’re doing exercises you have lesser knowledge about. Say, you want to do squats. If you have a trainer, they’ll give you the basics about squats. But if you’re on your own, ask the professionals how a certain exercise is done properly. You can also do your research before going to the gym or exercising in your home.
6. Get the right equipment and tools
Running or walking with the wrong shoes increases your risk of foot and ankle injuries. When buying sneakers, choose the ones that support the arch of your foot and have cushions that protect the heel from shock. Pair them with comfortable exercise outfits. Giving your feet a massage is another way of protecting them from injuries.
7. Listen to your body
Fatigue and overtraining can take its toll on your body. When you feel your body is undergoing such, postpone your training for another day. Exercising with a body that is out of shape paves the way for injuries to set in.
8. Pay attention to your nutrition
Your nutrition plays a crucial role in your health and wellness. Feed your body with the right food before and after a workout. The right fuel can maximize your workout efforts, fight fatigue, suppress hunger, and help muscle recovery.
The best pre-workout foods are those loaded with carbs, healthy fats, and protein such as bananas, dried fruits, oats, chicken, sweet potato, whole grain bread, and fruit and Greek yogurt mix. Post-workout foods include protein shake, quinoa, whole wheat bread, grilled chicken or salmon, omelet, and chocolate milk.
9. Don’t forget to hydrate
Hydration is another secret to stay on the right track and prevent injuries. You lose certain amounts of fluids when you sweat. Taking a few sips of water throughout your routine enables you to stay through the workout. Drink enough water before a workout, especially on warmer or humid temperatures. Sports drinks also help you replenish the nutrients you lose through sweating.
10. Give your body time to rest and recover
Regardless of what your fitness goals are, you should consider rest and recovery. This is very important for injury prevention. Pushing yourself too hard every single day is never a wise decision. Set aside days that allow your body rest and your muscles to recover. You don’t have to stay immobile during these days. Doing light and gentle exercises can also help you to stay on track.
11. Vary your workout
Including variety in your workout is another key to prevent workout injuries. This allows all of your muscle groups to move and get stronger. Sticking to one workout routine works only to limited muscle groups. But with variation, you’re able to give them rest in between sessions. This also prevents boredom.
12. Cool down with a good stretch
Flexibility is one key ingredient to injury prevention. Don’t leave stretching exercises only to yogis. In fact, yoga will help you go a long way if you incorporate it into your routine. You’re prone to back strain if you lift weights without taking care to stretch your muscles.
Stretching after every session reduces muscle fatigue and aids in fast muscle recovery. It also improves your flexibility and range of motion, which is very important in your workout.