Exercise is not just a great way to get in shape, but also a necessary activity to stay healthy. Regular workouts can improve sleep quality, boost the mood, prevent obesity, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. That being said, it’s important to remember that you can still get hurt while working out. Hence, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the necessary steps to prevent exercise-related injuries. To help you get started, here are ten essential tips for creating a safe fitness routine:
Wear the Proper Attire
What you wear while exercising may seem inconsequential, but it actually matters quite a bit. The wrong attire can result in discomfort and even lead to serious accidents. Generally, it’s best to avoid clothes that are too tight, as they tend to cut off blood circulation and restrict your range of movement. In the same vein, refrain from wearing baggy or oversized clothing, as they could cause you to trip.
The type of shoes you wear also matters. For example, if you plan on running, be sure to invest in running shoes that offer maximum support. Lastly, it’s always best to wear comfortable socks for women. This will prevent blisters from forming due to the friction between your feet and shoes.
Always Begin with a Warm-up
Never start your workout without a warm-up, as this could cause tears in your muscles. Always take around five to ten minutes to engage in a few warm-up exercises, like brisk walking or dynamic stretching. Avoid performing stationary stretches that require you to hold a pose, as they don’t get your muscles moving as much.
Start Out Slow
It’s best to start out slowly when you begin your workouts, especially if you haven’t exercised in a while or are trying a new program. Starting off with high-intensity workouts will likely lead to injury, especially if you’re overestimating your current capabilities.
On that note, refrain from simultaneously increasing the period, duration, and intensity of your exercise. For example, if you’re walking, increase either your distance or duration by ten to twenty percent each week. Increasing your distance, speed, and incline too quickly can result in shin splints—a pain that occurs at the front of your lower leg.
Apply the Proper Form and Technique
Applying the proper form and technique is one of the most effective ways to prevent exercise-related injuries. It’s best to seek the guidance of a professional trainer or coach before engaging in a particular activity. Take the time to absorb and apply what you’re taught until it becomes second nature to you.
Repeating the same movement over and over again can also result in injury from overuse. This is why you need to regularly switch up your fitness routine. Just make sure to start out slow and keep any physical limitations in mind when you do this.
Cross-training not only ensures that the different muscles in your body stay active, but also prevents you from plateauing. A workout plateau happens when your body becomes too accustomed to the same movements, which lessens the effectiveness of your exercise and the amount of calories you burn.
Be sure to drink enough water before, during, and after your workout. Sweat contains electrolytes that are vital for proper body and brain functioning. When you sweat during a workout, these electrolytes must be replenished. Failing to hydrate at the proper times can result in injury from exhaustion.
It’s recommended that you drink sixteen ounces of water within two hours before a workout. During the workout itself, bring a water bottle with you and take a few sips every fifteen minutes. Lastly, replenish the electrolytes you lost by drinking sixteen ounces of water within two hours after a workout.
Stop When Your Body Tells You To
Despite the old adage, pain is never a good sign when you’re working out. The most important part of exercising is to challenge yourself at a pace that works best for your physical capabilities. When you start feeling too much discomfort, it’s always good to stop what you’re doing and listen to your body.
Take a moment to assess what’s causing your pain. If your form is incorrect, adjust accordingly. If not, then it may be time to rest. Pushing yourself despite the pain could result in a serious injury that’ll take a longer time to heal.
Take Some Time to Rest
As paradoxical as it may sound, rest is an integral part of exercise. Taking one full day of rest every three to five workout days can help your body recharge itself. When you rest, your muscles also have the time to recover and rebuild, which strengthens them before your next workout. If you’re feeling extra tired or sore, take a few more days off to prevent overexertion.
In order to truly reap the benefits of exercise, you need to ensure that you’re doing it correctly. While exercise is good for your health, it can also hurt you if you’re not careful. Remember, no fitness goal is worth over exhaustion or pain. By following the steps above, you can come up with a regime that’ll keep you fit without compromising your health and safety.
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