Eight Ways to Avoid Exercise Injury
Anyone can be injured during exercise, no matter their level of experience, fitness, or age. However, older adults are at greater risk of injury because of bone and muscle loss, which comes with age, making them less agile and steady on their feet.
To avoid exercise-related injury and the accompanying pain, discomfort, and inconvenience, observe the following precautions:
- Consult your doctor
Before you embark on any exercise regime, seek your doctor’s advice. The doctor will guide you on what you should and should not do, depending on your health. Adapt your exercise regime to your particular needs and health conditions.
- Warm up
Before you get into the workout proper, walk or jog gently on the spot for five to 10 minutes to warm up your muscles and increase your heart rate. You could also ride an exercise bike or jump rope.
- Go easy
Ease your body gently into a keep-fit routine. Don’t dive into the deep end. Introduce the exercise in small doses, and increase the duration, intensity, and frequency gradually. Even if you don’t feel the strain, avoid pushing yourself too hard.
- Learn the correct technique
Consult a trainer to learn the correct way of performing an exercise. This is especially important when doing weight bearing and resistance exercises, as you can be injured easily.
- Stay hydrated
The American Council on Exercise advises taking two to three cups of water a few hours before your workout, and another cup thirty minutes before you start. Keep sipping every 10 minutes or so as you exercise.
- Cool down
After your workout, keep moving gently for five to 10 minutes to cool down. You could walk slowly on the spot, and then stretch gently. It’s important to stretch your muscles so they don’t remain tight, which could lead to injury.
7. Vary your program
Don’t exercise the same group of muscles day after day. If you do aerobics on the first day, do strength training on the second day, resistance training on the third day, and so on. If you exercise the upper body one day, exercise the lower body the next day. This will avert overuse injuries and boredom, and allow recovery between sessions.
- Take time off
It’s advisable to take breaks from exercise to allow your muscles time to rest and repair. You need to rest even if your muscles don’t feel sore. The risk of injury increases when you don’t give your muscles time to recover. Proper nutrition, hydration, stretching, and sleep all aid in the recovery of your muscles.
Exercise injury immobilizes you, negating the whole idea of your workout. Injury might even put you off exercise for good. You might also suffer costly and debilitating injury that requires medical attention. Therefore, it’s best to take all measures required to remain safe and avoid injury.