How to Prevent Workout Injuries
Working out, especially as a beginner, can be confusing. We're all familiar with the phrase, "no pain, no gain", but could that be a bit of a simplification? What should someone do if they happen to encounter pain during a workout- ignore it or embrace it? And how should we tend to injuries when we get them? If you've worried over these questions before, don't worry. We've got the answers you're looking for when it come to workout-based injuries.
Warm Ups and Stretches
Always start a workout with stretches and warm ups. They're important for increasing flexibility as well as gradually raising your heartbeat so that you won't become overwhelmed or overtired when the actual workout starts. Warm ups can include, for example, a small set of pushups or jumping jacks, and 5-10 minutes of jogging in place or on a treadmill.
Once you're done with your workout, cool downs are equally as important as warm ups. Your heart rate is likely to be elevated right after your workout. Taking about 5 to 10 minutes to cool down with a walk is a great way to bring down your heartbeat slowly. Finally, after you've warmed up, exercised, and cooled down, stretching again is an extremely important part of preventing injuries. Not only will it bring down a risk of an injury, it'll lessen the chances for soreness too.
Keeping your body hydrated might not seem important when it comes to preventing injuries, but it definitely is. If you don't drink water before and after workouts, you run the risk of becoming dehydrated, which can cause your body to essentially shut down. Injuries are bound to happen when you're dehydrated, so keep water on hand. Vitamin drinks like Gatorade are acceptable, but do contain added sugar.
Along with hydration, eating well help prevent injuries. Certain foods can help repair the body and muscles after a workout, so it's best to eat nurturing proteins and fats afterwards. Having a small, healthy snack before a workout will also help give you strength.
Frequent Injury Causes
The most common causes of injuries can be pinpointed to either pushing your body too much and too fast without resting, or not doing exercises correctly, resulting in technique errors. Both of these reasons can cause pain, discomfort, and possibly long term injuries. It's important not to push too hard or go too fast when it comes to exercising. If needed, take a day off in between to allow your body to heal itself. To avoid technical errors, work out with a friend, or invest in a personal trainer to oversee you and make sure you're doing everything right. If you take it nice and slow and avoid errors, it's easy to keep yourself healthy and well.
If you or someone you know is interested in working out safely, eating right, and healthy living, contact the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas for more information today. And be sure to catch us on Facebook and Twitter for frequent updates.