How to Avoid Injury While Exercising

While you are exercising, you are susceptible to injury. Avoid Injury, DeFalco Family Chiropractic, Auburn, MARegardless of whether you are a pro-athlete or a casual runner, you want to exercise without injuring yourself.  So, it is important to take the right

steps to reduce your chances of injury.

There are certain things that you can do to avoid hurting yourself while exercising. First off, before you even begin exercising, make sure that you are hydrated.  It is important to drink plenty of fluids before, during and after you exercise.  If you remain hydrated, you are less susceptible to cramping and heat stroke.

Once you are hydrated, you are ready to “hit the ground running.”  Well, almost.  You should warm up before you actually begin your workout.

We found some great exercise tips for avoiding injury on Fit Watch.  Read this advice:

#1 – Always warm up first

Sometimes a warm up can seem redundant – won’t your body warm up anyway after you’ve been working out for a few minutes?  Yes, but warming up first can help loosen your muscles and joints before you get into the higher intensity workouts, which is when most injuries happen.  Though it may seem like a waste of time, make warming up a priority in your workout routine.

You can warm up by doing some light cardio (e.g. walking) before a cardio or weight training session. Five minutes is usually good enough to get your body ready for exercise; if you have any medical conditions, such as asthma, a 10 minute warm up may be right for you.

#2 – Don’t overdo it

When you’re working out to lose weight and get into shape, you may be tempted to work a little harder than you are ready for because you think it will help you lose weight and reach your goals faster.  Unfortunately, you won’t be making much progress if you end up flat on your back in bed because you pulled a muscle or tore a ligament.  Slow and steady may seem to take longer to yield results, but it’s better than coming to a dead standstill because you hurt yourself…

#3 – Use proper equipment

Don’t skimp on the things you need to work out effectively and safely – like high-quality clothing and shoes, bicycle helmet and padding for elbows and knees, and even buying good-quality workout equipment itself, like machines and weights.  Cheaper isn’t always better or safer…

#4 – Common sense

You would be amazed at the way supposedly intelligent people seem to lose their common sense when they begin an exercise routine.  Keep your common sense alive and well, and listen to it when it warns you about something.  Trying to bench press 150 pounds when you haven’t stepped foot in a gym for 8 years maybe isn’t the wisest thing to do.  Trying to run a marathon when you haven’t walked farther than the distance from your sofa to your refrigerator … you get the idea.  Always err on the side of caution and you will be able to prevent 99% of workout injuries…

#5 – Always cool down afterward

Cooling down and stretching your muscles after a workout is just as important as a proper warm up.  Just a few minutes of stepping down your intensity gradually and then gently stretching out the muscle groups you just worked can go a long way in preventing soreness and strain.  This applies no matter what kind of workout you do, everything from running to aerobics to cycling to weight training.

Use this advice to exercise safely and avoid injuries.  If you exercise outdoors, don’t run at night and be sure to remain conscious of traffic.

Also, if you do experience an injury, do not ignore it and contact a doctor right away.  Chances are, you will only worsen your injury if you do not seek professional help.  With that said, begin your workout!