It's crucial that humans stay fit by regularly exercising. While exercising helps people burn calories and stay active, it could potentially cause some unwanted injuries. Having knowledge on the right way to exercise - such as stretching, not pushing yourself too hard, and staying hydrated - can prevent people from injuring themselves during a workout.
Eat Healthy Food
While exercising helps people in shape, people also need to make sure they are doing other things that support a healthy lifestyle. One of those is maintaining a healthy diet.
"Making sure you're eating adequate amounts of calories, protein, carbs, and fat to fuel your workout is not only going to help you improve your performance, but also avoid injury," said personal trainer Meghan Kennihan.
Make Time To Warm-Up
One of the most common reasons why people injure themselves while exercising is because they don't take the time to warm up.
Cold muscles are more prone to tearing, so people should spend about five to 10 minutes doing slow stretches before a workout. These can include leg lifts, arm circles, or touching your toes.
Don't Forget To Cool Down
Not only is warming up before a workout something that can prevent injuries, but cooling down should be a priority as well.
Cooling down with some stretching or brisk walking allows your heart rate to slow down and your body temperature to return to normal. People should spend about five to 10 minutes cooling down after working out.
Talk To An Expert
Those who are just starting to work out and aren't sure where to start should look to an expert for help.
This could be a personal trainer, fitness coach, or nutritionist who can design a safe workout plan specialized for you. These experts are trained in health and wellness, so they are able to prevent people from getting injured during a workout.
Get Enough Sleep
A key factor for living a healthy lifestyle is to make sure you are getting adequate sleep every night. It's recommended that adults get between seven and nine hours.
Getting enough sleep allows your body to grow and repair tissue damage. "During sleep, growth hormones stimulate muscle growth, aid in cell reproduction, cell regeneration, and regulation of your body's metabolism...," said personal trainer Meghan Kennihan.
Don't Overestimate Your Abilities
It's important for people to be realistic about what they can do while exercising. Straining yourself during a workout can lead to serious injuries.
Something that can help is starting with a low-intensity workout and increasing the intensity as you feel more comfortable. Jumping right into a high-intensity workout and getting an injury may cause you to take several days or weeks to recover.
Know When To Call The Doctor
Self-care is crucial for anyone. If something goes wrong because you made a mistake by exercising, do not hesitate to go see a doctor.
Some common signs that a workout went wrong include chest pain, a popping sound in a joint, bleeding, or if you think you broke a bone.
Switch Up Your Activities
It's great that someone exercises regularly, but people shouldn't stick to the same workout routine each time.
Not only does switching up a workout routine help people from hitting a plateau, but it gives their muscles a much-needed break from the same daily routine. Also, switching up your workouts can help with metabolism.
Take Rest Days
It doesn't matter what kind of exercise you do, but working out all the time can cause burnout. Being burned out can lead to an unwanted injury.
"...the whole point of working out isn't only to recover from it so you can workout again - it's to recover, then adapt, so you can get stronger or have better performance," said running coach Mike Deibler.
Learn The Proper Technique
If you're starting a new workout regimen, such as running, swimming, or tennis, it's important to know the proper technique. Knowing the correct form prevents injuries and improves performance.
Something to keep in mind is to take things slow because it's rare that someone will be really good on their first try.
Listen To Your Body
It can be difficult for people to understand the signs a person's body is telling them if they are solely focused on staying in shape.
The key to a great workout is to push yourself slowly and gradually. If you are consistently feeling pain or weakness, that is your body telling you to take a break.
Wear The Right Clothing
Wearing the proper attire for a workout can make all the difference in the world. One of the most important items are shoes.
It's best to find workout shoes that fit your arch, galt, and body weight in order to prevent your feet, ankles, or legs from getting injured. Also, make sure to wear form-fitting tops and bottoms.
Use A Full Range Of Motion
It can be daunting trying to start and finish a new workout. When doing exercises such as lunges or squats, it's best to use the full range of motion.
"If you train your body to only do a part of the rep, or only halfway down, your muscles will get used to only performing in small ranges of motion and your joints and ligaments will just stiffen up," said fitness expert Ben Boudro.
Not staying hydrated while exercising can lead to serious injury. When people sweat, they release water and electrolytes. These are crucial for necessary brain and body functions.
It's also important not to drink too much water before or during a workout because it can give people unwanted cramps in their stomachs.
Use The Right Equipment
It can be overwhelming stepping into a gym with all kinds of exercise machines and equipment. Before you rush over to one of them, get to know their purpose and abilities.
Not using them properly can have dire consequences. "Doing a strength exercise improperly can cause strains, pulls, and even breaks," said personal trainer Meghan Kennihan.
Foam Rollers Are Your Friend
Not everyone can afford to go to the spa and get special treatments on their bodies regularly. Instead, there's a useful tool that can help.
"[Foam rollers] improve muscle tissue quality, blood and water flow in the muscle and fascia, and decreases stress on joints, meaning it allows the muscle to move through ranges of motion," said running coach Mike Deibler.
Personalize Your Workout
It can be difficult coming up with a workout all on your own, so people may turn to ones they see online, on television, in a magazine, or other media outlets.
These types of workouts are designed for the general population, so they may not fit your workout needs. It's best to personalize your own workouts to make sure you aren't under or overextending yourself.
Keep A Mat On The Floor
A common way people injure themselves if they are doing a floor workout is slipping. Carpets, hardwood, or even cement aren't the greatest places for exercising.
Instead of using a towel or rug, the best thing to do is work out on top of a thick exercise or yoga mat. This is especially important if you're doing jumps, planks, or other movements where you have to lay down.
Remember To Eat
Exercising burns calories and causes people to work up a sweat, so it's best to eat beforehand. Working out on an empty stomach can be dangerous and cause people to feel weak and pass out.
Eating a healthy meal about two hours before you exercise will give you enough fuel to make it through the workout.
Treating Your Injuries
Those who regularly work out know that injuries are bound to happen. When this occurs, it's important that people know how to treat them.
The RICE method is a useful tool. "R" stands for resting the injury. "I" means icing the injury to lessen swelling, bleeding, and inflammation. "C" stands for applying a compression bandage to minimize swelling. "E" means elevating the injury to reduce swelling.