Four Ways to Prevent Exercise Injury

Injury prevention can save you a lot of pain & time in the future. Take a few minutes & read through these tips.
Four Ways to Prevent Exercise Injury

Nothing can be more frustrating...

...than being well on your way to your fitness goals, losing the weight, or getting those 6-pack abs when you get injured and everything comes to a halt. You have to place your fitness life on pause until your injury heals, and you are left to watch your progress and motivation slip away. Finally when your body heals and you’re ready to start back up, you’ve lost a lot of your momentum.

Along my own fitness journey, I’ve injured myself quite a number of times by committing ignorant mistakes. YOU DON’T HAVE TO! Avoiding injury is possible. It is so much easier to prevent yourself from getting injured by taking a few extra precautions than it is to ignorantly keep doing the wrong thing until it’s too late. This can be disappointing and set you back more than a few steps.

Here are my Four Tips to Preventing Injury:

1 | Warm-Up

If you’re anything like me, then you may like to jump right in to a workout! I don’t like to wait or take my sweet precious time to begin, but this can actually be dangerous for my body.

It’s important not to workout cold muscles. Stretching can help to stimulate circulation, increase flexibility, and relieve tension. This helps bring more oxygen to your muscles, which can reduce lactic acid production. I have to remind myself it only takes a few minutes to get the circulation going and the muscles ready. It only takes one short jog on the treadmill or a few dynamic leg swings to prepare my body for a workout.

A few short, sweet minutes of preparation can save you a lot of unplanned downtime from working out. Before you pick up those dumbbells or that barbell, commit to yourself and your body 2-5 minutes of warm-up! You will feel well-prepared walking in to your next workout.

2 | Cool-Down & Stretch

It took me years to figure out the wonderful secret of resting and stretching after a hard workout. I use to leave immediately after my workout was over, because I didn't know how important it was to stretch. Now my warm-ups and cool-downs are built-in and accounted for in every one of my workouts. I even make it easy on all my clients by building this into the program so they know exactly what to do and when to do it.

Working out produces lactic acid which creates muscle fatigue and soreness, that’s why stretching tight and sore muscles after a workout is essential. It enhances flexibility and reduces muscle soreness and tension.

I’ll let you in on a secret — The trick to regularly stretching is finding a corner of the gym that’s empty, turning on your favorite music, taking deep breaths in, allowing your mind to tune out the world, and enjoying that time by yourself. It has become something I look forward to when I workout and I know it can become a rejuvenating time for you as well!

3 | Use the Proper Technique

Wrong technique can cause unwanted injuries to your body in all sorts of ways. This one is a given, but it’s still important to talk about. If you ever feel unsure of the proper body mechanics for an exercise, take a few minutes to research it. This is why I always include videos and instructions on every single exercise in my program.

When I first started exercising, I had no idea what I was doing. I had to do lots of research on my own. It can be frustrating when you’re first starting out because the learning curve is so steep. The light at the end of the tunnel is the muscle memory truly does come!

Take the time to know what you’re doing when you walk into the gym. Research your exercises beforehand, find a friend who’s willing to watch your form, or record yourself doing the exercise to critique it later. This will save you lots of time and pain in the future!

4 | Listen to your Body

Listening to your body is probably the most important advice I could ever give you! Our bodies are so intuitive and brilliantly crafted. The body will send signals and information every day, but it takes us listening and deciphering the messages to know what it’s saying.

If your joints are feeling achy, your soreness lasts for more than the recommended 24-48 hours, or your fatigue has been steadily increasing instead of decreasing, your body is trying to tell you something.

Re-evaluate your workouts. Allow the appropriate amount of rest and recovery time between exercises or workouts. Don’t push yourself too hard or too fast.  Make sure you’re giving your body the appropriate nutrients and hydration. If you continue to do these things, your body will thank you!

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