So you just got super excited about exercising and you are totally ready to bust your little bootie at the gym tonight. You go to your local sports store and spend a ridiculous amount on the newest, cutest, most hip exercise outfit there. You go home, change, and drive to the gym. Next thing you know, you pushed it a little too hard and you get hurt. Awwwww dang it! You are out for another week (or more)! We received an awesome reader request for prevention and treatment of common exercise injuries. Exercise induced injuries are extremely common, and super frustrating. Exercise injuries can happen to anyone, whether we have exercised all of our lives or are just getting started. Lucky for us, there are prevention techniques that we can take to reduce the risk of dealing with an exercise injury. There are also treatment techniques to reduce pain and to speed up the healing process. I tried to fit all of the information on this post, but there was so much that you guys would be sick of me by the time the post was over, so I broke it up! Tune in for injury treatment on Monday, April 7th.
PREVENTION: How do I prevent getting an exercise injury? Here are a few ways to decrease your risk of injury:
Warm up and Cool Down: Warming up and cooling down before an exercise is extremely important! Why?
Warming up prepares your body for exercise. It gradually raises your heart rate and gets those muscles loosened up and prepared for more vigorous movement. Warm up ideas: jog slowly in place, jump rope, ride a bike, do the elliptical, walk or jog on the treadmill. Cooling Down allows you to gradually bring your heart rate back down to normal. Ideas for cooling down: walk around the block, step touch, march slowly in place with low knees.
Stretch: Flexibility helps increase your range of motion and decrease your risk of injury. Read more about the different types of stretching and how pre-exercise stretching and post-exercise stretching differ here.
Take it Slow: You do not have to run a marathon the first time you go out jogging! Remember that you need to build your muscles up and prepare your body for what you are going to do. BE PATIENT! The body adapts pretty quickly, but do not try to push it harder and faster than you are ready for. That is when injuries happen! This happens quite a bit with running. Many people add miles into their running schedule too fast and end up getting hurt. Don’t let this happen to you. Find a good training program that allows you to build a strong base for whatever exercise you are going to be involved in. Ease back into exercising if you have not exercised for a while. It’s okay to start out slow:)
Listen to your body: You know the phrase “No Pain, No Gain”? I’m here to tell you to throw away that huge Michael Jordan poster hanging up on your wall with those words on it. Haha You should not feel pain while you are exercising. I am not saying to not push yourself, because I think pushing yourself makes you stronger. What I am saying is that if you actually feel pain (not the burn that comes along with an awesome workout, but actual PAIN), then STOP THE EXERCISE! That is your body’s way of telling you that you are not ready for that specific exercise.
Make sure you have good shoes: Shoes are soooooo important! It doesn’t seem like your shoes would make that big of a difference, but they really do. Make sure you get shoes that fit you, and that you replace your shoes at the proper time. Waiting too long to replace gym shoes can result in injury. Running shoes need replaced every 300-500 miles. Read here for information about what to look for when getting new shoes.
Use proper technique when exercising: Make sure you are performing exercise movements properly, and only do as many reps as you can without sacrificing form. If you are lifting weights and you are trying to get to a certain rep, but your body starts moving in unnatural and weird ways, you know that your technique is being sacrificed. Do it right and you are way less likely to get hurt. You also will get more results if you do it right- it’s a win win! If you are not sure how to use a machine, or perform a movement, there are plenty of helps out there. If you have a gym membership, ask the employees to show you how to use the equipment. They should be more than happy to do that for you.:)
Remember to be safe when you are exercising! Have a wonderful day!
***DON’T FORGET!!! Today is the last day to enter the Great Harvest Bread Co. Giveaway!! You can enter until 5:00 pm MST. For more details, click here. Good luck!