For those of you that read my blog on a regular basis you may have read my post last week about the injury I had suffered http://wp.me/p3wWp1-1mI I have recovered but it did side track me and my fitness goals. I have been working out for well over a decade but this was the first injury I have had due to my workouts. There are ways that we can avoid having that happen. Nothing is more frustrating than being stuck on the couch just itching to get up and go!
It is quite common to sustain an injury when you are new to working out, which is why I was shocked I had not had one yet. If you are new to fitness, be careful, watch your form and pay attention to how you feel. The main reasons injuries happen are:
- doing the right activity too much or too often
- choosing the wrong activity for your body type or skill level
- not knowing the right form when performing exercises
- having the wrong footwear for the activity you are doing
I know I will be paying closer attention to what I am doing and how I am doing it. Here are some steps to work out smarter:
- Knowing your own body. If you stop and pay attention to your limitations. I have always had issues with performing lunges instead of finding an alternate exercise I have continued doing them. Even though I know that they give me problems in my arch. I am sure it is a form thing but I tend to always do it, hence my injury. If there is something that you know is not the right exercise for you, do not keep pushing it. Be aware if you have a bad back, bad knees, etc change your workout to support that. Acknowledge the weakest part of your body and work out a plan to work with it.
- Get tips from a pro. When you are first starting out exercises can be difficult if you do not know the proper form. If you want to avoid injuries take a session or two with a personal trainer. They can show you what you should be doing and how to do it properly. Make sure they are aware of your age, limitations etc. I have seen trainers working some clients too hard, not taking into consideration their age or skill level. They may be the professionals but only you know your own body. Remember to speak up if you are feeling any pain or stress.
- Train for your age. I am normally not the type of person that would bring up the “growing older” thing but it matters. I am in my mid 30’s and I have been working out for years, some of my joints and body parts are showing some wear and tear. The other thing is that some people are just getting started at an older age. If you are new to exercise or have not been active for years, do not rush into it or do to much to fast. Injury could be the end result of that. If that happens, a lot of people give up and do not go back to starting over again once they are healed. Take it slow and work up to it!
- Always warm up. The one thing I do before any workout is warm up. When you are warming up your muscles you are helping them prepare for the stress that your workout may put them under. I usually do a 5-10 minute workout before starting.
- Switch it up. Doing the same exercises over and over again, day after day can set you up for an injury. Repeating the same movements over and over again can cause injuries such as shin splints, tendinitis and chronic muscle soreness. Have more variety in your workouts. Run one day then switch it up and do strength training the next. Try not to perform the same exact thing everyday. This is also important so that you can rest your muscles by working different groups on different days.
Here’s to hoping we can all be more aware and injury free. I know I will be following these tips from now on so that I will never be glued to the couch again!! Do you have tips to avoid injuries that I have missed?