Over indulged over the holidays and forgot about the gym? If you are like me, the answer would be a big fat Yes! Well, at least we all start the year with a great resolution to fight those fat stores and get our bodies back to exercising. And more power to those who actually get started on their fitness journey and join a gym! They go all guns blazing and the next thing you know, they end up with an injury! Knee pain, back pain, ankle pain! You name it! What happens next is the usual story. The gym membership goes out the door and we are back to square one. There’s a better way surely? And the answer is a big fat Yes again!
Here are 3 tips to prevent you from injuring yourself and continue with your workout routine whether you are at the gym or at home!
3 Tips to prevent gym injuries!
Tip #1 Don’t start at the same intensity you were doing before!
Our bodies take time to get in shape but don’t really take that much time to lose strength/muscle. This means that if you have had a break for even a few weeks from the gym, you cannot work out at the same intensity as you were doing before. This will stress your muscles and joints and lead to injuries. It is very important to start slower than before and then build up your strength gradually. This is true if you were going to the gym, biking, running or playing any sport. Your joints and muscles will thank you for the gradual increase.
Tip # 2: Warm up is more important than you think.
It is just so important to do at least a 5-10 minute warm up. It gives a chance to your muscles and joints to get used to the exercise that you are just about to do. In fact most of the sports injuries we treat are due to not warming up correctly. It can be as simple as biking or walking or jogging for 5-10 mins before lifting weights or doing a class. Usually if you are doing a class, it will not start without a warm up. I hope! I don’t like the idea of stretching as a warm up though, as the muscles need to be warmed up to be stretched effectively. Stretches should always be done when the muscles are warm in my opinion.
Tip #3: Stretch when your muscles are warm!
It’s so important to stretch the muscle when it’s warm and not cold to avoid injuries. Hence, the best time would be after a workout, as a cool down. Tight muscles can lead to other problems for example tight hamstrings can cause lower back pain! Tight neck muscles can lead to headaches! It is important to hold the stretch for 30 seconds ideally but at least 10 second hold repeated 2-3 times would be effective too. Furthermore stretching should be done after every workout routine. Not just twice a week or whatever it is people do.
So don’t let anybody stop you from achieving you fitness goal! You go person! 😉