Exercise is essential for living a healthier life. However, with the activities we put our bodies through, the risk of injury is highly probable. According to the National Safety Council, more than 3.2 million people across the United States were treated for exercise and sports-related injuries across various causes, including overexertion and imperfect form.
Many of these injuries are preventable, so it’s important to learn how you can keep yourself safe while being in the best condition to handle your workout plan. Here are a few tips to help you avoid serious injuries on the road to better fitness.
1.Get professional advice
Anyone can start a workout plan without a fitness coach by their side. With the availability of video streaming services, you can watch workout tutorials on demand so you are always in control of your workout routine. However, this shouldn’t replace the need to ask a professional.
Just like keeping up with the latest sport news on sites such as Sport.dk won’t turn you into a professional athlete, watching workout tutorials won’t help you become a fitness specialist. Fitness videos won’t suggest activities that match your unique situation. You need to talk to a fitness expert who understands where you are coming from and comes up with a workout plan that’s tailored to your needs.
If you are planning to get a professional to weigh in on your fitness plans, make sure you find a personal coach with the right background. Presently, there are no laws prohibiting anyone from giving fitness advice. You need someone who has undergone training and enrolled in certification courses on workout safety. Never hire someone just because they manage a gym or a YouTub channel. Dig deeper and find out if the trainer knows how to keep you safe.
2.Inspect your equipment
From the training shoes to the type of insoles you’ll wear to the exercise machine you have in your home fitness studio, you need to make sure every tool is properly maintained. Accidents can happen when your exercise aids to malfunction. A single loose screw could cost you your limb, or even your life. If you have invested a lot of money on gym equipment, be responsible enough to clean, check, and test each device before using them.
Make a healthy habit out of polishing your gym equipment at least once a month. You may also need to check hinges and screws are properly secured. If you have a treadmill, you should be able to lubricate the belt once every three months using silicone wax. If you have a cable machine, try pulling and check if it needs to be lubricated, as well. Even if you don’t own any fitness equipment because you’re a member of a local gym, you need to ask the management about the last time these devices were checked.
Aside from fitness equipment, you will also need to keep your workout wardrobe in good condition. Start by washing your gym shoes every two weeks. Moreover, check if there are gaps between the sole and the shoe. You may need to reglue these parts before you are going through strenuous training. By keeping them in the best condition, you will be able to avoid slipping or breaking your heel during an early morning jog.
3.Listen to your body
Working out is a great way for us to build endurance. However, overexertion and fatigue resulting from strenuous exercise can offset the gains you have made. If anything, they can even lead to serious injuries that could progress into disabilities. For this reason, it’s always crucial to be mindful of what you are feeling while working out. If you feel tired, don’t push for the extra mile. Give yourself some time to rest. If you feel any pain in your body, stop and locate where it is.
You should also start with simpler workout activities and work your way to more advanced ones as you build endurance. Take it one step at a time and choose only exercises you can manage at your level. If strength training is included in your workout plan, start with lighter weights. There are no shortcuts to better fitness, so consider what your body can handle.
4.Never skip your warm-up
No matter the intensity of your workout program, priming your body should be part of your routine. Warm-up exercises like skipping rope are designed to put your body on exercise mode by increasing your heart rate and supplying more oxygen to your muscles. Skipping these exercises and going straight to your workout will only put your heart and lungs on overdrive. This only makes injury more likely.
Doing stretches should also be included in your workout plan. You can never go wrong with the benefits of stretching. Apart from improving your performance and flexibility, stretches can help you enhance your range of motion and loosen up your muscle tissues and joints. These can help prevent sprains and soreness, especially after an intense workout session.
5.Get enough sleep and nutrition
Your physical and mental condition can have a direct impact on your performance as well as your safety. If you lack sleep, you won’t be able to focus on your workout activities. You also risk dozing off and experiencing headaches that can increase the risk of injury. In addition, you should also get enough sleep after working out. Sleeping gives your body enough time to restore worn-out cells. Without a good night’s rest, you may not be able to recover fully.
In addition to sleep, your body should receive the right amount of nutrients. Without a balanced diet, you could set yourself up for serious injuries that will take too long to heal. For this reason, you need a diet that will supplement your workout needs. Having enough protein is crucial since it helps restore damaged muscle tissues. You can also take protein supplements, although you may have to consult with your trainer before shopping around for the right product.