No matter your fitness level, a workout injury can happen to anyone, but trying to prevent injury is all about having the right knowledge.
First, make sure you are ready to begin a workout by having the right attire and equipment. This includes being hydrated and having a healthy diet.
Once ready to start, do a simple warm up to loosen up your muscles, specifically the ones you will be focusing on during your workout. If you are doing legs, start with a light jog or lunges, and if you are doing arms, try some shoulder rolls or push-ups.
Once you finish getting your blood flow going, do a couple of static stretches.
With your new workout, you want to start slowly, and don’t overdo it. Most importantly, listen to your body. When a position feels odd, make sure that the position your body is in is the correct one.
For example, when doing squats, it is important to lift with your legs and not your back. Now let’s say you forgot and messed up your back, not to worry you just need to heal up. Also, this doesn’t mean you have to skip the gym, just focus on a different type of workout where those muscles are not strained.
There is a simple abbreviation I was taught at a young age, R.I.C.E., or rest, ice, compression, elevate. It works for just about every injury. Picture this: you were running on the treadmill and landed wrong so now you have a sprained ankle. First thing you know you need to do is stay off your ankle and rest.
Next, you will want to ice it in intervals throughout the day. This helps the swelling and healing process. Compression is next—get an elastic bandage to wrap around the ankle. Lastly, elevate. I tend to do this most when icing my ankle because it helps speed up the recovery process.
After your workout, your body will tell you what hurts: listen to it. You want to make sure to do a cool down. This is kind of like your warmup, except you want your body to begin to relax. Again, you can do a light job or shoulder rolls.
Most people prefer to roll out their sore spots with a foam roller or do some serious stretching. Benefits of this is reducing your heart rate, help avoid injury, gets oxygen to your body, and helps regulate blood flow.
Not all workouts are the same, and neither are all injuries. If you feel like something is off, try to speak to a trainer or doctor.
Written by: Kaitlyne Piper