So you've finally decided to get into shape or take your physical fitness to the next level. You are too eager that you jump into your new routine then get crashing down to earth with a workout injury.
Workout injuries such as sprained ankles, muscle strain, shoulder injuries, shin splints, runner's knee, wrist strain and tendonitis are pretty common.
There are many reasons workout injuries happen. It can be due to doing the right activity too much or too often, or perhaps doing an activity the wrong way, or sometimes it's due to choosing the wrong activity for your particular physical condition or body type.
But don't get discouraged! There are simple ways you can do to improve your workout sessions as well as avoid the most common fitness injuries.
It is critical to warm up before doing any form of exercise to ensure that your muscles and surrounding tissue get enough blood and nutrients to perform the required tasks during the actual exercise. Skipping warm up can lead to painful muscle tears that may take time to heal. Doing light cardio routines like jumping or running for about 10 minutes would qualify as adequate warm up.
Stretching (Pre- and Post-Workout)
In order to increase your flexibility, it is important to stretch your muscles after your warm up. This will give you a longer and leaner appearance as well. The increased flexibility will allow you to perform your activities better and minimize the risk of injury. Without proper stretching can result in tearing of ligaments. And never forget to do some stretching after the workout in order to minimize the risk of sore muscles.
Water also serves as fuel of your body. Working out without drinking water (before and during the session) is like trying to drive a car with an empty tank of gas. Dehydration can shut your systems down causing minor or major collateral damage to your body.
Same with keeping your body well hydrated, proper nutrition is important to avoid workout injuries. Pre-workout carb consumption is essential, atleast an hour before the actual training. While your body might access fat cells as energy reserves, you can suffer an injury way before then if you don't have an accessible glycogen available for your muscles to use as you perform the exercises. Muscle failure might lead to painful tears in the tissue that takes a lot of time to heal. Don’t forget to feed your body with the necessary protein after workout as well to help repair any muscle fiber damage.
Listen to your body
Your body knows when to stop. It will give you the signals for you to know when to back off, rest, and recover. If your soreness lasts for more than the recommended 24 to 48 hours, then your body might need more time to rest and recover. Remember, too much of a good thing is also bad. And instead of getting the results you want, it can actually lead to negative ones. Know your limits and always listen to your body.