Getting injured is a nightmare, but unfortunately, they happen to every gym fiend and athlete at some point. Whether it’s twisting your ankle, straining your knee or cracking your back, the pursuit of fitness comes with some casualties. Not all injuries are preventable, but there are many things you can do to avoid smaller injuries. For less pain and more gain, follow our top tips to stay injury-free:
It doesn’t matter if you’re a weekend warrior or a full-time athlete, you need to warm up. Skipping the warm up is a schoolboy error! It’s the best-known way to prevent injury. Do you know why? Warming up your muscles makes them more flexible – simple! Working out cold muscles is a quick way to cause strain. It’ll ruin your workout before you even break a sweat. Always aim for a five to ten minute warm up period and you’ll be good to go.
Add variety to your workouts
Too much of a good thing can hit you where it hurts. Working out too hard can break down tissues and tear muscles fibres. In other words, it can lead to overuse injuries. According to London City Physiotherapy, these type of injures start as small, nagging pains and grow into bigger strains through repetitive use. If you enjoy running, make sure you don’t do it too much because it places a lot of stress on the knee joints. Switch up your workouts for maximum success!
If there was ever a set of ‘laws’ for injury prevention, wearing proper footwear should be top of the list. It’s not rocket science, but many people overlook the importance of getting the right sports shoes. You need specialist footwear for whatever activity you do. Of course, they won’t cure injuries, but they’re designed to support the functions of the feet during injuries. If you lift weights, you need trainers that can deal with high intensity training. If you’re a runner, you should opt for lightweight trainers.
Perfect your form
There’s a science behind proper form, but most of us don’t want to get lost in the scientific jargon. We just want to know how to do it! Poor form can cause injuries. If you’ve ever tweaked a muscle, this could be a result of bad posture. Next time you go for a run, make sure you stand tall, keep your chest forward and land as softly as possible. If you squat, don’t let your knees drop forward. This is a classic mistake. Also, keep your back straight! Make sure you learn the proper form for each exercise.
Many injuries are plain bad luck, but you can make things easier for yourself if you do the basics above. Always take the time to prepare for exercise. But if you are hit by an injury, remember the ice pack!