When you are following a workout routine, there is always the chance that you will sustain an injury. Not only can workout injuries be very dangerous, but they will also disrupt your routine and make it impossible to meet your fitness goals, so you need to avoid them at all costs.
In rare cases, injuries will happen and there is nothing that you can do about it. You just need to make sure that you take enough time to recover fully before you get back into your normal routine. However, most workout injuries happen because you made some simple mistakes with your routine, which means that they can be avoided. If you want to reduce the chance of sustaining a workout injury, here are a few important things that you should do.
1. Perform Exercises Correctly
One of the most common reasons for workout injuries is that people are not performing their exercises correctly, especially when it comes to things like weightlifting. If you do not use proper form, you risk injuring yourself, so try reducing the weight and focus on form over anything else. Once you are sure that you are performing exercises safely, you can gradually start to increase the weight or the number of reps, while always making sure to focus on your form.
If you are unsure about how to do an exercise correctly, there are plenty of great resources online. You can usually find Youtube tutorial videos and there are some great fitness Instagram accounts that will give you some tips. If you are still unsure, consider booking a few sessions with a personal trainer so they can show you how to do things properly.
2. Take Enough Rest Days
When you first start a new fitness routine and you begin to see results, you may feel like you want to really push yourself and work out every single day. But this is a recipe for disaster and will soon lead to injuries. Your muscles need time to recover after exercise, and if you continue to do workouts without allowing for recovery, you are far more likely to hurt yourself. This is why rest days are so important, so don’t skip them.
There is no fixed rule for the amount of rest days that you should take because it depends on the intensity of the workout, but you should listen to your body. If your muscles are still aching, that is a sign that they need more time to heal, so you should wait another day before working out again.
3. Get Your Diet Right
Time is important for recovery, but so is your diet. When you exercise, you damage the muscles and then they repair themselves, which is how they strengthen and grow. However, they can only repair themselves if you eat well. Protein is an essential part of muscle recovery, so make sure to eat a protein heavy meal after every workout. If you are doing a lot of weight training, you may also benefit from a protein shake or supplement from a company like Fuel Station, so you can be sure that you are getting all of the protein that you need to recover.
Your body also needs a wide range of vitamins and minerals to repair itself, so make sure that you eat a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables as well. If you get your diet right, you will reduce your chances of injury and improve the results from your workouts at the same time.
4. Warm Up And Cool Down
Cold muscles are far more prone to injury, which is why it’s important that you do a warm up before every workout. It doesn’t have to be extensive, but you do need to do 5 minutes of light activity to get your heart rate up and warm up your muscles, and then do a good stretch. Active muscle stretches are far more effective than static stretches (where you hold a stretch in the same position) because these can lead to muscle tears.
When you finish your workout, it is vital that you cool down properly but this is the part that a lot of people skip. When you have just finished an intense workout and you are exhausted, it is tempting to finish without a cool down, but that will cause your muscles to seize up and increase your chance of an injury. You need to do around 10 minutes of gentle activity to bring your heart rate down gradually and maintain flexibility in your muscles if you want to avoid injuries.
5. Vary Your Workouts
We all have certain areas that we want to work on when we exercise, and there are also areas that we hate working on. This often leads to people doing the same workouts on the same areas of the body over and over, and that can lead to injury. You are putting a lot of stress on the muscles and joints, and even if you have rest days, you are not giving them time to fully recover before subjecting them to stress again. It is important that you vary your workouts and try to work different muscle groups each time you exercise. This will give you better all around results from your fitness routine and it will also reduce the chance of an injury.
6. Listen To Your Body
Your body knows best when it comes to safe workouts, so listen to it. If you are doing an activity and it starts to hurt, it is important that you stop right away. A bit of muscle pain is normal during exercise, but if you feel a lot of pain, that is your body telling you that you are putting too much strain on it and you are likely to injure yourself.
In most cases, workout injuries happen because people push themselves too hard and ignore the warning signs from their body. But as long as you follow the tips on this list and make sure that you are resting often enough, you should be able to exercise safely.