Clever Tips To Prevent Injuries While Exercising

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.

Different kinds of vegetables, including paprikas, zucchini, onions and tomatoes
Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

“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.

Phil Mickelson of the US stretches before his tee shot
Mark Ralston/Getty Images
Mark Ralston/Getty Images

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.

A woman stretching after a workout
Barbara Alper/Getty Images
Barbara Alper/Getty Images

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.

Actress Sally Field being trained by bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger on the rowing machine
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

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.

man sleeping in bed
Lambert/Getty Images
Lambert/Getty Images

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.

man lifting weights
Victor Freitas/Unsplash
Victor Freitas/Unsplash

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.

doctor wearing a stethoscope
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

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.

a woman doing Pilates
Bruce Mars/Unsplash
Bruce Mars/Unsplash

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.

a woman getting a massage
The Anam/Unsplash
The Anam/Unsplash

“…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.

men playing tennis
Chino Rocha/Unsplash
Chino Rocha/Unsplash

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.

a woman stretching in the woods
Luemen Rutkowski/Unsplash
Luemen Rutkowski/Unsplash

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.

woman working out in a tank top, leggings, and running shoes
Jonathan Borba/Unsplash
Jonathan Borba/Unsplash

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.

a woman doing squats and holding a weight
Sergio Pedemonte/Unsplash
Sergio Pedemonte/Unsplash

“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.

Stay Hydrated

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.

woman drinking a glass of water
Engin Akyurt/Unsplash
Engin Akyurt/Unsplash

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.

woman working out in a gym
Anastase Maragos/Unsplash
Anastase Maragos/Unsplash

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.

Green Bay Packers tight end Beau Sandland works with a foam roller
Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

“[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.

man running outside
Jenny Hill/Unsplash
Jenny Hill/Unsplash

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.

group of people doing yoga
Anupam Mahapatra/Unsplash
Anupam Mahapatra/Unsplash

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.

Female hands take by fork Classic Caesar salad with chicken breast in white ceramic plate
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

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.

Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain cries while icing her leg
William West/Getty Images
William West/Getty Images

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.