So you have decided to start off (Absolute Beginners is your best bet)/ step up your workout routine. Unfortunately, an injury while exercising throws you off schedule for a while. Sound familiar? (And frustrating?!)
Injuries are painful and have the potential to set you back weeks or months from your workout goals. And though nobody can totally avoid injury, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk.
- Warming up and cooling down: Warming up and cooling down go a long way in ensuring you remain safe from most common pulls and strains. Check out our YouTube channel for videos on this.
- Hydration and nutrition: Trying to work out without drinking water before and during your workout is the equivalent of attempting to drive your car with an empty tank of gas. Before you know it, your system will shut down with damage in the form of injuries. 300 ml water 20 mins before the workout and continuous small sips of water during the workout will ensure you stay hydrated; of course, not to forget, at-least 16 glasses of water a day. Never skip your pre-workout meal; you need the energy to make it through the killer workout. Post workout, hydrate well and give your body the nutrition it deserves.
- Listen To Your Body: There are certain signals that you have to be aware of that tell you when you are at risk of getting hurt. Being sore, or feeling a burn while you lift are both good pains that mean you are growing and improving. Things like stabbing pains, throbbing, extreme fatigue, or excessive prolonged soreness are signs that your body is at the limit or you’ve sustained an injury. If you think you are at risk, then don’t push. Taking a break and checking with a doctor is better than being set back for weeks or months.
- Be smart about your training: Be realistic and don’t compare to what others can manage that you cannot right now. “Too much, too soon” can be the number one reason why injuries occur. It’s okay to challenge yourself, but don’t go overboard, expecting to get there overnight. Getting stronger or going faster takes time.
- Wear proper workout attire: If you have to think about how long ago you purchased a new pair of training shoes and they are obviously not in the best condition, then it is definitely time to head to the store. Use proper training shoes and sports bras while working out.
- Improper form: Even if you’re taking it slow, you need to do things the right way. You are hardly going to benefit from bending the wrong way or forcing your muscles to do something they shouldn’t. The way you exercise is critical. Keep ensuring you got the right form, whether it is a new exercise or one that you already know. Ladies who have just delivered, you need to ensure you start off with the much needed pelvic floor strengthening exercises, among others, once you get the go ahead. Check out our postpartum workout that will guide you through this stage and hep you get stronger.
- Rest, Recovery and sleep: Take at least one day off from your fitness regime each week. Don’t hesitate to take a break if you feel extremely sore and exhausted or experience intense physical discomfort. Never compromise on 7-8 hours of sleep- it benefits your body and brain and is the key to a healthy lifestyle.