There’s nothing more frustrating or disruptive than an injury when you’re on course to achieve fitness goals, or you’re in the swing of things with a new workout plan. Sometimes, it’s not possible to prevent accidents, but there are myriad ways you can lower your risk of injuries. Here are some essential steps you can take to keep injuries at bay the next time you work up a sweat.
It’s tempting to dive right in if you’re full of energy and you can’t wait to get started with a workout, but it’s critical to start every session with a warm-up. If you go straight into running, lifting, or jumping, you run the risk of sustaining injuries. The warm-up increases blood flow, which enables your muscles to access more oxygen. It’ll also get your body ready for action, which will optimize performance. Your warm-up should consist of gentle cardio combined with stretching. Make sure you stretch every part of your body.
Getting your technique right
Technique is key, no matter what kind of sport you’re playing or machine you’re using at the gym. If you’re not doing a stretch right, you’re not using the rowing machine correctly, or you’re hitting golf or tennis shots with the wrong technique, you could end up with an injury. If you’re a beginner, it’s well worth taking some classes to hone your technique and make sure you’re familiar with different equipment and how to use it.
Recovering and cooling down
When you’ve pushed yourself to the limit, you might feel like all you want to do is hit the shower, but resist the temptation to finish your session without cooling down. The cool down is designed to gradually lower your heart rate and let your muscles recover. Stretch thoroughly, taking your time to go through movements that target every major muscle group. Walk around or do a very slow jog to let your heart rate stabilize, and use equipment like a foam roller to aid faster recovery. If you’re prone to injury, or you tend to suffer from aches and pains, take a look at the best foam roller reviews, and consider investing. You can use a foam roller to target knots and muscle tension and reduce the risk of soreness after exercise. When you’ve finished training, it’s also essential to rehydrate, as you will have lost fluids through sweat.
Listening to your body
If you love exercising, or you’re doing really well with a fitness regime, it can be disappointing to pick up an injury, but it’s so important to listen to your body. If you feel exhausted, your muscles are sore, or you feel like something isn’t quite right, don’t hesitate to take it steady. If you carry on training, and you have got an injury, there’s a high chance of making it worse and putting yourself out of action for longer.
Injuries can throw a major spanner in the works if you’re a fan of exercise or you’re aiming to achieve fitness goals. Accidents happen, but often, injuries can be prevented by ensuring you warm up and cool down, you have the right technique and you allow your body time to rest and recover.