One of the top 5 reasons that someone hires a personal trainer is to avoid injury.
Personal Training clients want to make sure they are lifting and exercising with the proper technique. Fitness clients also want to make sure they are doing exercises appropriate for their body and age. Both proper technique and appropriateness of exercise are two very important “must-dos” to keep you injury-free in your fitness journey. There are a handful of other “must-dos” to consider while striving for injury-free fitness.
“Must-Dos” for Injury-Free Fitness
To make sure you’re preventing injury or safely recovering from an injury, consider the following for your fitness program:
- Does your program match your fitness goal?
- Is your program sensible?
- Is your fitness program something you can do consistently over time?
- Is your program progressive?
- Are you aware of factors in the realities of aging?
Match your fitness program to your goals to prevent injury (and burnout)!
Think of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. One fitness program may be “too small” and not provide enough challenge in order to reach your goals. Another could be “too big” with programming that is more intense and frequent than is necessary. It’s the programs that are “too big” that could increase injury risks (and program burn out). You want to be in the game at a level of physical and mental challenge that is “just right.”
With workout programs called Insanity, studios dedicated to pushing you to achieve your athletic potential, and article after article about HIIT (high intensity interval training) as the best ways to shed pounds and get fit, it is easy to see how you could end up on a fitness journey that is larger and more intense than necessary to reach your goal.
Need ideas on how to tailor your fitness program?
Meet with a fitness professional at your health club. Or, set up and appointment with a personal trainer (hint, hint, we know of a great team of personal trainers at Strand Fitness! Click here to learn more about us). These experts will help you map out a fitness program that appropriately matches your goals.
A sensible fitness program reduces the risk of injury
The definition of sensible is different for each person. My definition is that a sensible fitness program first matches your goals, then secondly aligns with your current fitness and skill level. A sensible program also takes into consideration any physical limitations or vulnerable areas of the body (such as a weak back, injury prone shoulders, or arthritic knees or hips).
(Unfortunately I am aware of too many injuries that have come from participating in fitness programming than is well beyond a person’s ability and fitness levels not to mention mindset.)
If you are recovering from an injury, or on your way back from surgery, sensibility means a conservative path to regain and/or build your fitness. If you are a slightly older person like me, I also suggest that a sensible program considers ways for your joins to be healthy now and in the future.
You will want to strengthen and stabilize your joints as a foundation for exercise and for preventing injuries. Note: This can be done without high intensity work.
Give me a call if you would like to find out what a sensible program looks like for you. I am happy to help you map out a program that will keep you healthy and prevent injury. (Pam Strand; 630-653-8152, email@example.com).
Being consistent keeps you healthy and injury-free
Design your fitness routine in a way that enables consistency over time. Select the types of workouts or classes that fit into your lifestyle and align with your goals and desired activities.
If you want to build strength, for example, chose resistance training workouts that you can do at least 2-3 times per week. If you want to be able to play in the weekend basketball league, plan other bouts of exercise during the week that get you ready for game day. Want to take a hiking or skiing vacation? Set yourself up for success by planning ahead and creating a consistent exercise regimen that will deliver endurance results when you need them.
Consistency is key. Being inconsistent, or working with a weekend warrior mentality, defeats the purpose and opens you up to injury.
Hiring a Strand Fitness personal trainer helps you stay accountable and consistent with your workouts. Contact Pam at 630-653-8152, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
Progress the challenge, and get a little bit better each step of the way
Slowly building fitness levels is the best way to avoid injury and is the safest way to regain your fitness after an injury (or surgery).
Adding weight or more complex movements after several weeks in a program are examples of progressing a workout. Taking a couple of weeks to work with lighter weights and to focus on joint stability or overall flexibility is another example of progressing the challenge. Adding a different form of exercise (e.g. a yoga session in the midst of a weight lifting program) can also help move you towards your goals.
However you progress your program, do so in a conservative way. Start at a challenge level that honors your current fitness and skill level, then take incremental, planned progressions over time. This approach helps prevent injuries and ensures the most success.
Learn how you can regain your fitness and get back to your active life after an injury by clicking here!
Be sure to factor in age-related realities to stay injury free inside and outside of the gym
Age-appropriate exercise is also key to staying injury-free. As we get older, we lose muscle, coordination, balance, and our reflexes get slower. That is not to say that we can’t regain much of this, we can. But staying injury free inside and outside of the gym depends upon factoring in age.
Our mobility and movement solutions are a great way to help you stay injury free and to age less as you age!
Once you approach 40, your fitness program should be incorporating elements on balance, coordination, speed of reflexes (aka agility), and range of motion. I think this is one reason for the increased interest in yoga, which is a wonderful way to work on these elements. Mobility classes, stretching and flexibility work are all becoming more and more popular. These modes of movement are great ways to age less and keep our bodies healthy as we age!
Be strong and fit- without injuring yourself!
Call Pam (630-653-8152 or email email@example.com) to schedule your complimentary, no-obligation fitness consultation.
Get in shape and enjoy your active life!
To learn more about how we can progress your fitness beyond your injury, please visit our website: Injury Recovery
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.