8 Ways to Prevent Exercise-Related Injuries
With many of us hitting the gym as part of our New Year’s resolutions, it’s important to understand how we can prevent exercise-related injuries.
By actively preventing sport and exercise injuries, you increase your chances of achieving your fitness goals and improving your overall health.
Most Common Exercise-Related Injuries
According to an article from CNN, in November of 2019, “the National Health Statistics Reports, found that between 2010 and 2016, about 2.7 million emergency department visits for sports injuries each year were made by young people ages 5 to 24.” With people from all age groups worried about the health risks of obesity, it’s imperative to take all necessary steps to avoid getting injured while exercising.
While this is not a comprehensive list of exercise-related injuries, these are some of the most common:
- Muscle pull and strain
- Shoulder injury – Rotor cuff tears
- Knee injuries
- ACL and meniscus tears
- Shin splint
- Wrist sprain or dislocation
How to Avoid Injuries While Working Out
These eight tips will help keep you injury-free while exercising. However, there are no guarantees you won’t get hurt; that is where we come in, no what type of injury you sustain we can help bring you back to health.
1. Talk to Your Doctor
Before you start any new exercise routine, it’s essential to get your doctor’s approval. By having a physical examination, your doctor can tell you if you are healthy enough to exercise and recommend the best exercises for you.
2. Choose Your Workout
After your doctor, a clean bill of health, make sure you choose a type of exercise that not only fits your current level of fitness but is also enjoyable.
3. Start Slow
We’ve all made the mistake of trying to do too much at once. If you haven’t been physically active in a while, the best thing to do is to start slow and build strength and physical resistance over time.
Overexerting yourself is the fastest path to injury.
4. Warm-Up and Cool-Down
Cold muscles are more prone to injury. When you do warm-up exercises, you increase blood flow to the muscles which helps reduce stiffness and reduce your risk of injury.
Warm-up by walking and doing dynamic stretches such as arm and leg lifts for at least 5 to 10 minutes.
You should avoid stretches where you assume a position and hold it, as these can cause muscle tears.
5. Fuel Up
Eating the right foods at least two hours before exercising will provide enough energy for you to complete your workout.
The same goes for hydration. You should drink 16 ounces of water one or two hours before exercising and take frequent sips throughout your workout time to stay properly hydrated.
6. Dress Accordingly
Gym outfits shouldn’t be just about looking good. The proper gear, including your workout shoes, can significantly reduce your risk of injury.
If you are unsure of what gear you need to make your fitness routine safer, ask your trainer, they will point you in the right direction.
7. Vary Your Workouts
Not only is doing the same exercise over and over boring, but it can also cause stress injuries. The best thing to do is to add different physical activities where you can work out different muscle groups. This way you will get a more balanced workout and avoid injuries from overusing some muscles.
8. Know When to Stop
It’s normal to feel some physical discomfort when you are working out, but regardless of how hard you train, your fitness routine should never veer into pain.
If you feel pain while doing an exercise, listen to your body and stop immediately.
When to Come to Prestige ER
The aches and pains associated with exercise don’t usually require a trip to the ER. However, you should seek immediate medical attention when:
- Your pain seems abnormal or doesn’t improve with rest
- You have chest pains during or after exercising
- You feel dizzy
- You experience shortness of breath that does not improve while at rest
- One of your joints appears to be out of position
- You have a severe injury or are bleeding
- You think you may have a broken bone
Accidents can happen to anyone regardless of their fitness level if you think you may have injured yourself while working out, don’t delay, come to Prestige ER for treatment.