Every January, many of us make the New Year resolution to commit to focus on our health. If your New Year resolution involves a new exercise routine, it’s important to ensure that you’re taking steps to prevent injuries while exercising when you kickstart your new active lifestyle.
Common Exercise Injuries
Injuring oneself while exercising is pretty common, and can vary based on the type of your exercise routine. Even highly active people can experience injuries during exercise, and these injuries can include:
- Muscle pain and strains
- Sprained ankles
- Shoulder injuries
- Knee injuries
- Shin splints
- Wrist sprains
How To Prevent Exercising Injuries
Although exercising injuries are common, there are things you can do to avoid injuries while exercising.
Before every workout, it’s essential that you make time for a warm-up. Warming up can help you ease into your workout routine and allow your body to get used to the activity. Warm-ups will help to gradually increase your heart rate and loosen your muscles.
Warm-up exercises can be as simple as riding an exercise bike, jumping rope or jogging in place for 10 minutes.
Like warming up, stretching is an essential step that everyone should take before jumping into their fitness routine. Stretching helps to loosen your muscles and increase your flexibility.
3. Ease yourself into your routine
When it comes to exercising, you should always start slowly. Give yourself time to adapt to the new routine, and gradually build up the intensity, duration and frequency of the workout.
4. Vary your routine
Exercising different parts of your body is not just a great idea for overall health, but it can also help to prevent injuries. Shin splints and tendonitis can be caused by repetitive use and overuse, so consider switching up your workout. One day, hit the weight room, and the next opt instead for some cardio, like using an exercise bike.
5. Listen to and know your body
Everyone is different, and only you really know your body and what works — or doesn’t work — for it when it comes to exercise. If you have arthritis or recurring knee problems, focus on building strength, but make sure your exercises don’t cause you more pain. You can also talk with your doctor for safe exercising recommendations. If you don’t have any known health problems but you start to experience pain after working out, make sure to give yourself a break.
6. Give your body what it needs
Your body needs fuel every day, but it’s especially important to give your body what it needs on days when you’re exercising. Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout, and have a small snack every two to three hours. Post-workout, eating healthy carbs and protein will help to rejuvenate you.
How To Treat Exercise Injuries
If you’re injured during a workout, the good news is that most injuries can be prevented from getting worse by following the RICE method:
Minor pain and inflammation can also be treated with ibuprofen or other over-the-counter pain relievers. However, if your injury is serious, you should see a doctor.