One of the most devastating and undesired incidents that can happen during a training session is getting injured. Experiencing an injury sucks and is a serious inconvenience. But hey, it happens to all of us at one point or another.
However, there are certain precautions you take that will decrease your chances of getting hurt. Below, you’ll be able to discover four ways of how to go about preventing serious injury while you’re training.
Warm-Up Before You Exercise
We have all heard this one since grade school, but it is still one of utmost importance. Warming up is crucial to a good workout and is the number one approach to keeping loose.
Warming up readies the nervous system and prepares the muscles for physical labor. Additionally, it can also help to increase blood flow, allowing key nutrients to be ingested into your muscles.
Without taking the time to prepare your body for what you will be doing, you will be more likely to injure yourself. This may sound odd, but picture your body as if it were a lawnmower. You have to prime it a couple of times before you start it, otherwise, you won’t ever get the job done. Take 5-10 minutes before you exercise to prime your body and get your blood circulating efficiently.
Maintain Proper Form
Ever cramp a muscle mid-workout? Unless you’ve completely lost focus in the exercise, that tweak most likely came from you accidentally having poor posture.
Proper form during an exercise is for more than just “looking good” as you train. When you are training, the goal is always to use an intended muscle group. If you’re only training with the mindset of just being able to lift the weight by any means necessary, you’re doing it all wrong. What’s more, you’re much more likely to hurt yourself with that mentality as well.
Just like stretching, having proper form while exercising can also open up those blood vessels and increase blood flow. If that’s not enough, good form will also keep constant tension on the targeted muscle, helping you make some major gains.
If you’re not sure if you are performing an exercise properly, don’t be afraid to approach a trained professional at the gym. That’s what they’re there for! These professionals are very likely to help you achieve optimal results while performing your workout.
Fuel Your Body
Let’s go back to that lawnmower reference you used earlier. You can prime the lawnmower all you want, but if it doesn’t have any gasoline in it, there’s no fuel for it to work off of. The same goes for your body.
Your body needs a sufficient amount of water and key nutrients to create and expend energy. Water eases the transportation of cells throughout the body, while certain foods with key nutrients can help your body create a system of energy you can work with.
In regards to water, aim to drink at least 20 ounces 2-3 hours before exercising. Also look to add an additional 8 ounces every 10-20 minutes during your workout and 8 ounces immediately after your workout.
As far as food is concerned, there are a couple different variations you can work with to achieve your personal goals. However, if you don’t have any strict diet, try to eat a small snack every 2-3 hours to maintain a consistent source of energy. Healthy carbs and protein sources are sure to keep your energy storages at the perfect level.
Don’t Overwork Yourself
If you do experience any muscle tweaks or cramps and you don’t think it’s because of any of the above reasons, you may be overexerting your body. As important as it is to push through that workout burn, you should also understand when your body is signaling for you to back off.
If you experience a pain that lasts more than 24-48 hours, it may be more than just the “after-burn” feeling we’re all looking for. Take some time off to nurture the injury and have that area rest. Overworking an injured body part or muscle group won’t optimize results, it will just make the injury much, much worse.
This is why so many workout programs offer rest days throughout the week. While some of us may be able to do this, the majority of us don’t want to work seven days a week at our jobs, right? Well, neither do your muscles. Muscles need sufficient amounts of time to recover from all that hard labor you’re putting it through. Give them the rest they need, and you’ll be sure to minimize your risk of injury!