**this is a contributed post**
While healthy and recommended, an active and athletic lifestyle can also lead to injuries. Strains, sprains and even broken bones are not unheard of, and let’s face it, getting hurt is not much fun at all. Not only does the pain cause you problems, but it can set you back significantly with your fitness journey. (this is why I personally do yoga).
However, with correct knowledge and preparation, a lot of the most common exercise related injuries can be avoided. Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to prevent injury when exercising.
Warm-up and cool down
A warmup should precede every exercise, and a cool-down should follow. Warming up is important because it prepares your body for exercise by gradually increasing your heart rate. It also helps the muscles and joints loosen up. The warm-up does not have to be too strenuous; it just needs to get your heart racing and some sweat flowing so you can start working out. Warming up can be done in a variety of ways, including:
- 5-10 minutes on an exercise bike
- 5-10 minutes of jogging
- 5 minutes of jumping rope
A cool down is also necessary after a workout because it returns the heart rate to normal. Walking for 5 to 10 minutes is an excellent way to end a workout.
Before and after your workout, do dynamic stretches1. This allows for more flexibility. While research on whether stretching can help avoid injury is ambiguous, it is best to stretch after you warm-up and cool down.
Do not rush into it
Start slowly when starting a new workout program or exercise routine, then gradually increase the length, intensity, and frequency.
Change up your regime
Don’t overwork a single muscle group. Overuse and repetitive use injuries, such as shin splints and tendinitis, may result from repeatedly performing the same muscle movement.
Listen to what your body is telling you
The theory of “no pain, no gain” can lead to injury. You should get in shape without hurting yourself. Don’t overwork yourself to the point of discomfort. If you hurt, you may have injured yourself. Stop your workout and take a break for a day or two.
Wear the correct clothing and equipment for your workout. If you run, wear proper running shoes. If you cycle, wear a helmet. Proper clothes go a long way towards preventing injury.
Dealing with fitness related injuries
No matter how cautious you are, injuries can and will occur. If you get hurt during a workout, use the RICE strategy to prevent it from getting worse:
- R: Rest – it is time to put your feet up and rest a while
- I: Ice – apply ice to reduce swelling and inflammation
- C: Compression – apply a compression bandage to help reduce swelling
- E: Elevate – lift the affected part up as high as possible, above heart level if you can, to reduce swelling
You can also use pt tape from KT Tape to give your injury more support while still allowing you to continue exercising and maintain your levels of fitness.
These tips will hopefully reduce your chances of injuring yourself while exercising!
THIS is my fitness journey! (all the things I’ve tried, how I’ve started!