The whole point of exercising is to challenge your body, but there is such a thing as pushing it too far. Whether you’ve been exercising for a long time or just starting out, it’s very important to understand the potential risks of common workout injuries like strains and sprains, as well as how to prevent these from happening. This will help you get the most out of your workout, helping you achieve a more sustainable fitness journey, while also prioritizing your safety. Here are a few things that you can do to avoid injuries as much as possible!
Make Sure to Warm Up and Stretch
In case you weren’t aware, strains and sprains may occur when the muscle or ligament is torn and overstretched, and a lot of this boils down to improper warm up. Many professionals recommend starting every workout session with a dynamic warm up to get your blood pumping, while also preparing your muscles and joints for the stress and exertion of what’s to come.
Movements like walking lunges, hip rotations, arm swings, and more will help loosen your muscles and remove any stiffness or tension that could increase your risks of injuring yourself, while also maintaining joint mobility. And if you’re looking for a much deeper stretch, you can choose to get some fitness accessories like foam rollers, yoga blocks, or an exercise ball to really relax and elongate your body.
It’s important to increase the intensity, duration, or frequency of your workout gradually. Not only will it help you get much farther in your fitness journey, but it will also help you avoid any injuries that could be caused by overexertion, which is when you push your body too hard. Overexertion is one of the most common causes of accidental workout injuries in the United States and can cause anything from inflammation, pain, discomfort, or worse injuries.
To steer clear of this completely, make sure to give yourself enough time to adapt to the current workload of each session. It can also help to listen to what your body is telling you and only progress when you feel that you’re physically prepared for it. Whether it’s speeding up your run, running for much longer, or lifting heavier weights, it’s important not to rush into anything and only take that step forward when you’re confident enough in yourself.
Check Your Form
While there are so many benefits associated with lifting weights, it can do more harm than good when done poorly. Having proper form is crucial in weight training as it ensures that you’re getting the maximum gains without posing any harm to yourself and your body. A very common mistake made by many individuals is hunching or arching their back when lifting, but this constrains your back and damages your entire spine and even the nerves surrounding it.
Whenever you can, try to workout in front of a mirror and assess your form and posture, making sure to make the necessary adjustments whenever needed. If you’re starting out and want to lift correctly from the start, you can choose to avail the personal trainers that many gyms offer their members. Overall, it’s always best to be aware of your body and any pain or discomfort that you may be feeling as this can be your body trying to tell you something.
Give Your Body a Chance to Rest
Your workouts can be really taxing to your body, which is why professionals and experts alike always emphasize the importance of giving yourself enough time to rest and recover. Many are unaware that the workouts only inflict damage on your muscles and that it’s during this resting period that your muscles grow and develop and your bones and joints strengthen.
It’s extremely dangerous to keep pushing yourself every day without any rest days in between. When your body hasn’t had the opportunity to repair itself, a lot of things can go wrong. Not only will your overall performance severely decline, but you’re also much more likely to injure yourself during your workout as the damage to your muscles compounds every single session. Make sure to get at least one rest day a week to maintain your progress.
As great as it is to find one activity that you enjoy, it’s always better to mix things up and integrate a good variety of workouts into your routine. Apart from keeping things exciting, cross-training also prevents the overuse of your muscles and joints, while also offering a more well-rounded approach to strengthening your body. And when you integrate different activities, you’re also less likely to develop any imbalances that could lead to injuries down the line.
Your fitness journey should be a marathon and not a sprint—it’s all about the sustainability of your routine because that’s the only way you’ll see any lasting results and changes in yourself. When you’re focusing on the longevity of your workouts, it’s important to be mindful of the way your body feels as this can be one of the best ways to stay away from any major injuries and keep enjoying your much more active lifestyle.