6 Ways to Prevent Injuries While Working Out
We all want to get in good shape as soon as possible, but unfortunately there are no shortcuts to success. Even those well-toned individuals you see in gyms such as 9 Round didn’t get there overnight and they had to work for it. You also need to learn how to work out properly to avoid injuries as that will only make it more difficult for you to get in shape.
A lot of the injuries sustained by those new to workouts get them through carelessness and not following basic workout safety routines. To prevent those from happening, here are some tips you should follow, regardless of the type of workout you do or how fit you are.
15 to 20 minutes of warm up is essential to limber up your muscles and make them more flexible. There are a lot of ways to warm up: you can lift some light weights, jog for a few minutes, do a light 10 minute workout on the treadmill or just do some stretches. What is important is you work up some sweat and you no longer feel stiff.
Speaking of stretches, make sure that you stretch your muscles properly. To do this, take your joint to the end of its motion range and maintain that posture for 30 seconds or a full minute. Don’t bounce your muscles around until they’ve been stretched properly, otherwise you could hurt yourself.
The importance of staying focused on what you are doing cannot be emphasized enough. It’s so easy to twist an ankle or arm because your mind is wandering off, and the danger is magnified if you’re lifting dumbbells or using gym equipment. Another side effect of not being focused is you will end up just going through the motions and not do the workouts with intensity, putting it all to waste. If you want to avoid injuries, stay focused on your workouts and save the chitchat when you’re done.
A Good Diet Helps
You probably already know that diet and workouts go hand in hand when it comes to building a solid physique. However, what you may not know is diet is critical for injury prevention as well. To put it simply, the type of food you eat determines how quickly you can recover from injury and build strength. So eat healthy foods, take vitamin supplements and avoid foods and drinks that won’t do your health any good.
Open Toe Footwear is a No-no
Don’t wear sandals or any type of footwear that exposes your toes to the gym as this makes you vulnerable to injuries. Someone could step on your foot, or you could hit your toes on one of the machines. Worse, one of those plates could drop on your foot and cause a major mishap.
And if you do wear shoes, make sure they’re the good type and don’t wear out too quickly so there’s sufficient protection for you. If you’re the type who does a lot of walking and running in those sneakers, check their condition every three months to determine if a replacement is needed.
Put on knee wraps when you’re doing heavy squats as they will serve as protection for your joints. What makes knee wraps so effective is the way they evenly distribute the pressure across a wide section, relieving your joints of pain and reducing the chances of you getting injured.
The same thing can be said for wrist wraps: just as you wear knee wraps to safeguard your knees, you do the same when you are doing deadlifts and lifting heavy weights. These wraps will provide assurance for your grip and will ensure you don’t suddenly drop; what you’re lifting and hurt yourself.
Know Your Limits
This one sounds obvious, but you will be surprised at how many people get hurt working out because they push themselves too much. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing crunches, lifting weights, pushups or whatever. Do not perform high intensity workouts if you are not yet ready.
There is no way to speed up your progress than by letting your body get used to the workouts. Doing more than what you are physically capable of at the moment is going to come as a shock for your system and cause an injury.
Just as important as staying within your limits is to make sure you give yourself time to rest and recover. Working out five days a week is fine; give yourself a couple of days off to recover and you will be the better for it.
Bottom line: a lot of gym injuries can be prevented by using common sense and making sure you’re working out correctly. By taking the right approach to your workouts, you won’t risk getting hurt and will be a step closer to getting fit.