Quick tips on injury avoidance
One of my good friends is a fitness coach and I asked her recently for her views and tips on how to avoid injury during exercise.
She suggested the following:
- Always Warm Up
Light cardio exercises to warm up your muscles greatly reduce the risk of injury. These get the blood flowing and avoid shocking the muscles with sudden intense exercise.
Gentle stretching can also help prevent injuries. This should not be confused with the more intense post exercise stretches however. Simply something that prepares the body for exercise.
- Never over do it.
We all want to improve but do it at a reasonable pace. Overdoing it runs the risk of burn out or injury. It is like crash dieting. It rarely works in the longer term.
If you want to improve distance, stamina, speed or strength, increase it gently week by week. Build it up slowly but on strong foundations. Increase you run or weights by a small amount session by session and see where that takes you to.
Varying your workouts will help immeasurably. The body can take longer exercise session where different muscle groups are being used. An hour of running followed by a swim session will be healthier that a longer session on one repetitive exercise.
- Listen to Your Body
We have all been raised with the “no pain no gain” mentality however this must be applied with common sense. There will be time during workouts when it feels uncomfortable and perhaps even hurts, however it is important to be able to distinguish between when your muscles are simply “hitting the wall” and when there is a genuine need to stop. While it is important to challenge yourself, you should not blindly ignore significant pain.
- Find something that you enjoy
The final tip was that if you find an exercise or routine that you enjoy doing (figuratively speaking) then you are more likely to stick with this form of exercise than to try and use it as a quick fix to weight loss etc and in turn run the risk of injury.
I hope this is helpful.