Athletics involve risks of injuries. It is part of the undertaking. However, there are ways to minimize your risk of injury. A few simple measures go a long way towards making the process less dangerous. The tips listed below will not guarantee you will not get hurt. They will put you on the right path towards your goal of getting and staying in shape.
The keyword is preventable. You cannot control the unpreventable. You can be proactive. Take charge of your health by following these points. Just remember to not work out too hard.
What is a preventable injury? A classic example is a muscle strain caused by overuse. In essence, it means you worked too hard. Another one is an injury to the tendon which connects muscle to bone. It is common, and one you need to avoid. The medical term is tendonitis.
These tips are for athletes of all types. You may work out once a week, or you may prefer to prepare for the local marathon. It does not matter. No one wants to be injured. In all cases, pay attention to what your body is telling you. It is either saying “work harder” or “stop pushing yourself beyond your limits.”
- Mental Focus
It is important to be in the right frame of mind before you begin your exercise or workout routine. A poor mental state can produce an injury. You need to stay focused on the task at hand. This seems simple but it can cause problems. Think of a professional athlete on game day. They are totally focused on the game. Do the same and avoid any problems that will lead to injuries.
Make sure you have set aside enough time. Do not be in a hurry. This does not mean you can loaf or take it slow. It involves a thought process that does not involve a sense of urgency. Do not fall into the trap of believing you must finish the workout by a certain time due to another appointment or engagement.
Warmup and stretching go hand in hand. You need to get loose. This involves warming up your muscles. Your heart rate will increase as blood flows to your muscles. You can then stretch. Again, do not push it. You have plenty of time.
The benefit of stretching is well documented. You need to hold each movement for several seconds. This allows the muscles to get ready. Take steps early to prevent injury. Keep in mind that stretching should not be painful. In fact, you should experience a positive feeling at the conclusion of each stretch. Each action may well increase your mental focus.
Moderation simply implies that your warmup and stretching is not overdone. You want to get ready to exercise but you do not need to get hurt in the process.
Diet is the ultimate preparation. It goes on every day. Each time you eat you are either making your body stronger and less likely to be injured, or you are weakening the various muscles you seek to enhance. Your endurance will suffer from a poor diet.
Your diet needs to include sufficient water. Hydration is important both before, during, and after any exercise session. Your body will lose a considerable amount of water while exercising. Keep hydrated. That is one important message to keep injuries from occurring.
Whole foods that contain protein, carbohydrates, and appropriate levels of fat are a good start. Avoid processed foods and sugars, particularly added sugars, if possible.
Good eating habits enhance your mental health. That relates back to the mental focus necessary to prevent injuries.
This has been touched upon in other headings. It cannot be stressed enough. You must start your preparation by going slowly. Take the time to get ready.
Think of it as riding a bicycle. You start out slow and then gradually increase your speed. Too quick a start can and will injure a muscle. Once you hit your stride you can take it into high gear. That means your high gear with the tip of not working out too hard.
You can then ramp up the pace while always listening out for signs you are working too hard. Everything works together. Your body knows its limits. Preventing injuries is part of a combination of factors laid out in this post. Do not assume it will all magically happen.
Be careful when you exert yourself, and it will pay dividends. You will soon learn appropriate exertion levels and how to obtain them.
- Weather Related
- Specific for Exercise
When you are exercising outside, make sure your clothing and equipment fit the weather conditions. Check temperature and precipitation possibilities before heading outside. Remember you will warm up while exerting yourself whether running or any other activity. Be prepared to adjust clothing so you are too hot or too cold.
The right shoes are essential for any athlete. IT goes without saying to select the correct size. The wrong size will result in blisters. Comfort is essential. Socks are also important. They must not cause any concerns that will make you prone to injury. A pair of socks and shoes that fit your feet are essential. Do not cut corners. Get quality footwear and take time to put them on so you have a good fit.
A tip to consider is to try on your socks and shoes before leaving home. Walk around and ensure you are comfortable. In this way, you will save time and know your feet are protected from injury. Remember to make sure there is no rubbing on toes or sides of feet. Avoid blisters at all costs.
If you need a knee brace, wear it. Be certain it fits properly. Any questions about what you need should be referred to a professional. Do not just pick one up off the rack. Your knee needs proper support. Any questions about whether or not you need a brace should be addressed with a medical provider.
A sleeve that goes on an arm is designed for protection. When in doubt wear one. It can prevent an injury, or at a minimum, it can mitigate damages. It may sound repetitive, but always get equipment that fits properly. Remember if you play football, you would not put on a helmet that did not fit your head.
There are specific pieces of equipment for certain athletic events. Find out what you need and make sure to use it every time you work out. An example would be protective eyewear if you believe your activities could injure your eyes. If you encounter dust, dirt, any type of air pollution, or debris in the air, your eyes need to be protected.
This tip relates to the time involved in ending your workout. You need to cool down. Do not just end an intensive session by walking away. You need to spend at least twice the time on cooling off as you did on warming up. IF you run, then walk around gradually slowing down. Whatever your exercise involves, make sure to end it properly.
This applies to weekend athletes, and it is also intended for the serious athlete in you. Give your muscles and your whole body a break.
When you calculate the amount of time for any physical activity, add in the time to cool off. It is just as important as preparation. Do not run off to the next item on your schedule without making sure this particular one is properly closed.
Part of the conclusion is evaluation. Did you keep on track with a routine to prevent injuries? Did you skip any steps? How do your muscles feel? Are you taking enough time off before the next workout? These are all important considerations to avoid injuries
in the future.
These tips are designed to prevent injuries. They are not foolproof, but they are well worth your consideration. Keep this article handy for future reference. Review it before each exercise cycle. Pretty soon the tips will become a natural part of your athletic endeavor. Professional athletes keep tips in mind and so should any other type of athlete.