Are you planning on starting a new exercise routine in the new year? Do you already follow a regular exercise routine? Either way, the last thing you want is an injury. You have probably experienced at least some minor aches and you know how aggravating they can be. Injuries will slow down your progress and inhibit the kinds of exercises you can perform. Here are 4 injury prevention tips to you in the game:
Before you begin working out, be sure to engage in a proper warm-up. A warm-up should generally last 5-10 minutes and include gentle, large, rhythmic movements to increase the respiratory rate, blood flow, and muscle oxygenation. For example, I often have my clients do 5 minutes of light cardio to warm up.
Do Not Exercise Through Pain
If you experience pain during an exercise, you should modify the intensity, your body alignment, or stop the exercise completely. You will increase your physical fitness by gradually increasing intensity, not by sudden or painful increases.
Shoes that are specifically designed for a particular activity are best. However, a general cross training shoe is sufficient for most workouts. When purchasing a pair of athletic shoes, choose a pair that provide shock absorption, arch support, and flexibility in the forefoot. Also note, most shoes worn only during exercise last less than six months if you exercise several times per week. Thus, you should replace your shoes about every 5 months.
Just as a proper warm up should be used to get the body ready for exercise, a proper cool down should be used to return the body to its resting state. A cool down is used to gradually return the body to a low-intensity activity to prevent blood accumulation in the lower extremities. A progressive reduction of the respiratory rate and heart rate allows the body to adjust gradually. Try doing light cardio or stretching to cool down. A cool down should last about 5-10 minutes.
ACE Certified Personal Trainer
Source: NDEITA Personal Training Manual