When it comes to fitness injuries, the best medicine is prevention. In this area of your life, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
“Preventing injuries” and “staying injury-free” are at the top of the list of concerns for most personal training clients. It is one of the major reasons one hires a trainer in the first place. Regardless of if you are working with a trainer or not, here are 10 things you can do for injury prevention while exercising or leading an active life…
10 Things You Can Do to Prevent Injury
- Be sensible and reasonable in your choice of exercise or activity. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t challenge yourself. It just means if you don’t know how to do something and it is fairly intense, think twice before doing it. Or, at least get expert instruction on how to do it before you start.
- Know how fit you are (or aren’t) and then start there. If you are out of shape, do things that smart out-of-shape people do to get into shape. Start slow and stay within your comfort level. If you are fit and starting a new form of exercise, the advice is the same: start slow.
- Focus on technique and form. Especially for those of us with “slightly older” bodies, mastering technique reduces the likelihood of injury. Even for those who are well-trained and fit, paying attention to and practicing technique is a good injury prevention strategy.
- Be mindful of exercises and activities that require a lot of force on the body. Lifting heavy weights fast, jumping, twisting quickly are all movements that put a great deal of pressure on your muscles and joints. Be sure you have the stabilizing strength to perform high intensity exercises and workouts.
- Balance any high intensity workouts with more moderate workouts. The body is not meant to go high intensity all the time. You will see a better overall result if you have a range of workout intensities in your fitness plan. And you can avoid over-use injuries.
- Plan for recovery and rest. Taking a day off and having days of easy activity are smart injury prevention strategies. An exhausted and worn out body is one with a higher risk of injury. Rest and recovery also help your body adapt to the exercise. Gains are made when we rest our bodies. And our bodies stay healthy.
- Take time to tend to the tension in your muscles and stiffness in your joints. Your body will thank you! Stretching, mobility exercises, and massage (with a massage therapist or through self-release methods) enhance the health of your muscles and joints and help prevent injuries.(Recommended: Mobility and Movement Solutions)
- Move in different ways. In the fitness world, we call this cross training. But it also applies to our daily movement. Training and moving the body with different forms of exercise promotes better overall strength and conditioning, which helps to minimize the likelihood of injuries.
- Eat healthy! A healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and high-quality fats optimizes the function of your body. A well-functioning body is one at less risk for injury.
- Heed the wisdom of pain. Pain is our body’s way of telling us something is not quite right. Heed its wisdom! If something hurts, don’t do it. If a body part experiences pain, rest it. If pain lingers or is significant, go to your medical professional to have it checked out. Dealing with injuries in the early stages minimizes the disruption to your body (and to your fitness routine).
To your health and fitness,
If you want to prevent injuries while you become strong and fit, call me to schedule a fitness consultation. (630-653-8152 or email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Our consultations (no charge and obligation-free) are a great way to learn how we can make sure you exercise right so you can stay injury-free!
If you do have an injury, please visit Injury Recovery on our website to learn how we can get you fit again and back to your active life!
Strand Fitness is a personal training studio in Downtown Wheaton, serving Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Winfield, & Chicago Western Suburbs. To learn more about how Strand Fitness can help you reach your fitness goals, contact Pam (630-653-8152) and schedule your free fitness consultation.
You can also learn more about our fitness solutions here: Fitness Solutions