Regular exercise is good for your body and safe for almost everyone. However, with any type of activity or sport, there is always a chance you can get hurt and injured. Exercise injuries can range from strains and sprains to back pain.
With a little planning, you can prevent injury and stay safe during exercise.
So, what causes exercise injuries?
Some of the most common causes of exercise injuries include:
- Exercising before your body has warmed up
- Repeating the same motion over and over again
- Not having proper form for your exercise
- Not resting in between workouts
- Pushing your body too hard or too quickly
- Doing an exercise that is too strenuous for your level of fitness
- Not using proper equipment
Why is it important to Warm up and Cool Down before and after exercise?
Warming up before exercise gets your blood flowing, warms up your muscles, and helps you avoid injury. The easiest way to warm up is to exercise slowly for the first few minutes, then pick up the pace. For example, before running, walk briskly.
You should also cool down after exercise to bring your heart rate and body temperature back to normal. Cool down by ending your routine at a slower pace for the last 5 to 10 minutes.
Why is it important to stretch?
To stay flexible, you should stretch at least 2 times a week. But it is unclear whether stretching really helps reduce injury.
You can stretch either after you have warmed up or after you exercise.
- Do not stretch cold muscles.
- Hold stretches for no longer than 15 to 30 seconds.
- Do not bounce unless being supervised by a professional.
Choose Your Exercise Wisely
If you have not been active, or have a health condition, talk with your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough for exercise and ask what types of exercise might be best for you.
If you are new to exercise, you may want to start with low-intensity options such as:
- Riding a stationary bike in a gym or at home
These types of exercise are less likely to cause injury than higher-impact activities like running or aerobics. Contact sports like football or rugby are also more likely to cause injury.
Use the Right Equipment
Using safety equipment can greatly reduce your risk of injury.
Be sure you use the right type of equipment for your sport. For example, do not play tennis in running shoes. Wear a ski helmet, not a bike helmet, when downhill skiing.
Make sure your exercise equipment:
- Fits you properly
- Is the right design for your sport or activity
- Is in good working condition
- Is used correctly and consistently
Learn Good Form
If you are new to an exercise or sport, consider taking lessons to learn the basics. Learning the right way to do an exercise or sport can help prevent injury. Look for lessons in your community or through sports or outdoors organizations. You can always contact us here at Spike Fitness and we would be happy to help.
Mix it up a bit
To help prevent overuse injuries, vary your workouts. For example, instead of running 3 days a week, cycle 1 day and run 2. You will use a different set of muscles, and still get a good workout.
Listen to Your Body
Forget the old saying “no pain, no gain.” Of course, to build strength and stamina, you will need to push your body. The key is to push slowly and gradually. You can expect sore muscles after your workout, but you should never feel pain when exercising. If you feel pain, stop right away.
Being tired all the time can also be a sign that you may be overdoing it. In general, avoid increasing these 3 things all at the same time:
- Number of days you exercise
- Length of time you exercise
- How hard you work out
Sometimes, less can be more!
If you do have an injury, you can try to treat strains and sprains at home before seeking medical advice, however, if you are worried it is always worth getting it checked out, just to be on the safe side