Are you finally sticking to a diet plan to lose weight and considering doing some sports to get in shape? Good for you! That’s a fantastic decision. In all honesty, it is not easy to make such a brave decision, but since you did, you should make sure you are nourished properly and are performing the sport in the correct manner. It is not about how often you are going to go to the gym or how many hours you are going to spend there. The whole point of performing a sport is to be fit and get in shape, by burning calories and strengthening your muscles. So the exercises that your friend practices at the gym may not necessarily match your body type. If you do not follow the correct path in your workout routine, you might end up with injuries that dissuade you from continuing your fitness journey. That is why we present some great tips on how to avoid injuries during your workout.
Consult Your Doctor
You do not want to start hitting the gym and exercise on heavy machines without referring to your doctor first. You have to ensure that you do not suffer from any diseases that may hamper your activity. It’s better to have a full checkup to ensure that everything is fine, however, if a problem does show up, consult your doctor about what type of activities you should avoid. If you are suffering from an old injury, for example, that might be causing chronic pain, then the doctor may have a solution or suggestions for you. For someone that may have injured their knee while being active, then the doctor would suggest going for knee braces for sports injuries as these provide support and keep you from doing more damage. They function as a great support for the knees, stabilizing and protecting them from future harm. Your doctor will be able to tell what kinds of exercises are safe for you, and which to avoid in order to ensure that you avoid any risk of injury.
Find A Personal Trainer
In the beginning, you might feel a bit lost among the several dozen machines in front of you; you do not know which one to start with and which ones to avoid. You might also be deluded into thinking that they are all equally important and end up using them all, which increases the probability of injuries. You can save yourself all of this hassle and, instead, practice with a trainer, who will take your measurements and inform you how much weight you will need to lose or how to build specific muscles and what tools will be important for this process. Personal trainers will be cautious not to put you in harm’s way, while training and supervising the duration you spend on a certain exercise.
Take Time to Warm-Up
We know that you are excited to work on your fitness; we are excited for you too! However, in order to avoid injuries, you should warm up before starting to exercise. This rule applies for both beginners and professionals; warming up is crucial, no matter how experienced you are. The muscles have to be stretched to prepare them for the motion of the exercise; this will avoid unnecessary injury, while training specific muscle groups. If, for example, you’re going to use the treadmill, you need to jog for a few minutes to avoid hard knee injuries.
Change Your Exercises
Suitable and easy exercises can be tempting to keep on repeating without considering changing the routine. This could lead to injuries, due to the fact that you’re exhausting the same muscles without giving them time to relax. Stressing muscles can cause bruises, cramps and sometimes fractures, which is something you want to completely avoid. You can alternate days between upper and lower body workouts so that you do not drain your muscles’ energy and tolerance. Or you can fix certain days to machine exercises and others to simple cardio. Furthermore, you will want to avoid repeating the same muscle movements over time, as your body adapts and becomes more efficient at performing them, which in turn leads to muscle weakness. In order to avoid this problem, try to change the routine of the exercise, for example, using free weights instead of machines to target your muscles.
Your senses might be heightened and you would like to achieve noticeable results in the shortest time. This could result in you staying extended hours during one workout routine hoping for a better outcome. Rather, it is the complete opposite! By going hard at the beginning, you can easily obtain sore muscles and drain your energy making you give up quickly. For some exercises, giving up halfway might not be an option; some injuries force people to completely stop working-out; surely you don’t want that. Start off your exercises moderately; this will provide you with the stamina required to maintain and develop your routine. If you practice cardio exercises, you want to begin by doing short sets that do not induce too much stress on your core muscles or your knees and then gradually increase those sets until your body is comfortable enough to perform them without any pain.
Listen To Your Body
The workout results might amaze you and force others to compliment you on your new shape, so you continue working-out without rest. As much as this can be a great boost to you mentally, it can increase the chances of injuries. Your body needs to rest to give your muscles time to heal before performing more exercises. If you do not take the required rest, you are exposing yourself to unnecessary harm that can be avoided by listening to your body. There is a difference between sore muscles, after working-out, and notable pain that immobilizes you for days. The latter is a clear statement from your body that it needs to rest; there is no need to stress your muscles when your body is telling you otherwise. So, if you have a backache, it’s best to not carry anything heavy and if it’s your knees that are in pain, you should wear knee braces and try not to put pressure on them.
Wear Proper Workout Clothes
The last thing you want to do when working out is not wearing the proper attire. Imagine running or jogging, while wearing saggy pants or tight jeans; you are likely to trip and fall more than once resulting in injuries. Well, since we want to avoid those unnecessary falls, you need to purchase clothes that suit your training. There are a lot of specialized sports shops, where you can find all the exercise outfits. You need to pay extra attention to the shoes you will be wearing; an old one can easily result in foot injuries. So the best option is to get a new one that is comfortable and durable.
Hydrate and Eat a Healthy Diet
If you think that by only working-out you can get in shape, you are totally mistaken. Eating healthy is parallel to a good healthy body; you can’t exercise without having the energy to do so. You should take into account the importance of every meal you have; you can’t skip meals and water, substituting them with small snacks, thinking that the less you eat the faster you will achieve your goals. Working-out drains your energy supply, which increases hunger and thirst. By ignoring these signs, you are most likely to feel light headed and faint, which could result in severe injuries. Therefore, you must provide your body with healthy meals that replenish you with the required energy. Last but not least, you should drink at least 8 cups of water daily to stay hydrated and healthy.
Include Strength Training
When people first start working-out, they usually start with light exercises and progress to perform more challenging ones. However, sometimes, they concentrate on cardio exercises only, the issue with these types of exercises is that they target specific areas of the body and do not work on strengthening all your muscles. Concentrating on only one exercise regimen can wear the muscles out by time, so in your workout routine, you want to combine strength training along with cardio. This way you will enhance your muscles to carry on exerting high effort, otherwise, your muscles will tire quickly and you might have swollen arms or cramped legs that can make you unable to walk for days. Simple weight-lifting would be great; you can include lifting 10-pound dumbbells in your routine.
Learn the Correct Technique
Whether you are working-out at the gym or at home, you want to be extremely familiar with the exercises you do, before actually performing them. At the gym, using a machine in the wrong way can cause injuries; you have to get the advice of a professional trainer on how to use the machine to guarantee your safety. The same applies at home, whether you are exercising on machines or performing cardio exercises. You can watch videos on the internet on how to perform the movements required for each exercise. Seeing someone professional performing the activity would allow you to do the correct movements and minimize the risk of injuries. You could also hire a professional trainer at home to walk you through every exercise you are doing, or you could consult a physical therapist who can adjust your workout to your physical capabilities.
Your Gender Counts
When it comes to working out, your gender does make a difference. We are not suggesting that women are weaker than men or vice versa; we are just introducing proven scientific facts about the tolerance of the male and female body and muscle composition. Furthermore, fat distribution on the body differs for each gender. Experts discuss that certain types of workouts can be dangerous on males and females, due to some gender-related physiological issues. Doctors suggest that women have a higher risk of having knee injuries, so activities like skiing, basketball or weightlifting are more suitable for men. However, activities like yoga, stair stepper or cycling are more suitable for women, since men are more likely to be injured from them. Another interesting fact is that strength training in females seems to have a much greater effect for weight loss as compared to men. In both cases, for men and women, it’s better to be cautious and wear knee braces to avoid any possible harm.
Consider Your Age
Sport is for everyone, hands down! Kids, teenagers, adults and elders can take part in sports. Exercise is recommended for all ages. Apart from the fact of making sure you are not suffering from any medical condition before working out, you also want to put your age into consideration. The energy and abilities you have are different from the ones your grandparents have, that is why your exercises should mirror your age. You do not want to exert a lot of effort, while you are 70-80 years old, even if you have been working out for ages. Elders tend to have less muscle tolerance, so full-body exercises or heavy-weight lifting can be extremely dangerous for them.
What is better than taking care of yourself and your body and aiming to see the best version of yourself? The right way to do so is to have a peaceful state of mind, follow a healthy diet and exercise. Your body responds to whatever you are feeding it; if you are going to have healthy food and drink plenty of water, you will witness the best response from your body. Also, if you work out cautiously, according to your body demands, you will see great results. The most important thing, though, is to avoid injuries during your workouts; you want to take the aforementioned points discussed into consideration before you start your fitness journey. Your safety is number one, however, if you happen to get injured during exercising, then you should take a break and give your body time to heal.