Exercise is beneficial for anyone, no matter their age. But, as with any activity, there is always the possibility of injury. Most of these injuries stem from the ignorance of inexperience as people new to fitness try new things and learn how to work out effectively. To that end, allow us to share a few ways to prevent injuries while exercising.
Warmups and Cool Downs
The importance of warming up is often harped upon, and for a good reason. Taking the time to stretch beforehand gets your blood flowing while loosening your muscles up so that they’re prepared to perform more strenuous exercise. Think of your body like an engine—going from one extreme to the other will quickly damage it. Stretching will also help you feel less sore the morning after.
What’s sadly understated, however, is the importance of a cool down after you finish your workout routine. It’s no different than the stretching you do for your warmup, but it helps your body switch gears again as you slow down, and your body begins to slow your blood flow back to your pre-workout pace.
Know Your Limits
While it’s important to push your limits in order to see improvement, it’s entirely possible to push yourself too hard. The saying of “no pain, no gain” is a dangerous mindset. If you feel sharp pains and excessive strain on your muscles, you’re going to end up overusing them and hurting yourself. Finding the right pace and knowing your own limits is one of the key ways to prevent injuries while exercising. As an added bonus, having a better understanding of your own limits will help you formulate an effective routine that’s tailored to you.
Taking Rest Days
A common misconception is that rest days are wasted days. However, on the contrary, rest days are important for preventing injuries and seeing your hard work finally paying off. Rest days are an opportunity for your muscles to repair and build upon themselves—so if you never take a rest day, you’ll run your muscles ragged until you’re fatigued and in pain.