Hitting the gym is an uplifting experience. There is something so incredibly invigorating about completing a full circuit of stretches, weight training, and cardio – and a challenging workout will push you to want even more from your workout the next time you visit your local gym. But it is this ever-increasing desire for a higher intensity workout that can cause us to over-exert ourselves, and eventually push our bodies to the breaking point. To help minimize the chances of and learn how to avoid workout injury, consider the following tips:
We all know that warming up before a workout is a smart thing to do, but admit it – you’ve hit the gym with cold muscles before, right? Warming up isn’t the most exciting part of the workout, but it is one of the most crucial. Warming up does two things to help you avoid a workout injury – it loosens the muscles through stretching and enhances blood flow to the extremities, yet it also creates a sense of mental acuity that will prepare you for the workout ahead.
Wear the Right Clothes and Shoes
There is no replacement for the right gear and clothing when working out, as most modern workout apparel is designed to protect the user and deliver supreme comfort along the way. Talk with a personal trainer or fitness coach at your gym and find out what they like to wear during a workout, then find variations that fit your sense of style and budget. Also, choosing the right gym shoes is extremely important when it comes to protecting your feet during a workout. Find sturdy, cross trainer-style shoes that are comfortable right out of the box, then buy the most expensive pair you can afford. It is money well spent.
Rest and Recover
There is a romantic notion that if one hits the gym every day and lifts weights like a crazy person that there will be a rapid and exciting change in their body composition. To some degree this is actually true, but a change the individual will notice is sore muscles, damaged joints, and body aches that will kill all motivation to work out. Instead, rest muscles for at least 24 hours, but preferably 48, and get plenty of sleep.
You can sustain a workout injury even if you follow the steps above, but the odds of it happening will diminish greatly as you keep tabs on your form, your warmup, your attire and footwear, and the recommended rest periods. Now that you know how to avoid workout injury, remember, the only bad workout is the one you didn’t do!