How To Keep Fit and Avoid Injury

by - 11/30/2018 10:58:00 PM

How many of you know people who refuse to exercise for the fear of getting injured? Probably no one.

I do know people who refuse to work out because they are lazy! All kidding aside, sustaining injuries while working out or playing sports is inevitable, and often, a painful part of engaging in physical activities. However, this should not stop us from pursuing a fit and healthy body.  

Writing this article brings back a childhood memory. I remember when I first started riding the bike. I probably only have a couple of days of riding experience under my belt when I hit a lamp post. Out of embarrassment and fear of getting into another riding mishap, I stopped riding and have not gone on a bike since then.

It is a shame because biking is such a good way to keep fit. Looking back, I regret not having struggled and worked with the fear of biking. I reckon had I done so, I would be able to join triathlons now. So, today, to keep you, my dear readers, from making the same mistake, I would like to share tips on how to keep fit and avoid injury.

1. Get a Professional Trainer

When I started working out at the gym, I made sure to consult a trainer to make sure that the exercise regimen I follow is appropriate for my health and physical condition.

Having a personal and professional trainer will certainly guarantee your safety during your workout. You are also assured that your efforts will not be in vain as your trainers can help you target your areas of concern. So, if you think that you can exercise on your own, think again.

2. Don’t Skip Your Warm Up

If, like me, you work out right after waking up, your muscles are certainly cold given that they were at rest. Cold muscles are more prone to injury. Warming up increases our body’s core temperature by encouraging blood flow to the working muscles.

Warming up also gives you the opportunity to wake yourself up if you are still feeling sleepy or set your mind that you are about to exert physical effort. Warming up helps prevent cramps and injuries because your muscles are more flexible to do the work.

3. Start Small

It has been said that the risk of injury is greater when you mindlessly and abruptly change your exercise program or add a new exercise.

As with any other skill, we are most likely to mess up if we did not have a proper practice. Such is also the case when it comes to exercising. That’s why it is important to slowly integrate your new exercise or program into your current workout routine. There is no need to rush; to do so would cause more harm than good.

4. Switch It Up

Do you keep on doing the same workout over and over again? Well, chances are, you are getting bored, too.

Switching your workout routines help give the muscles you engage in your usual workout regimen a rest thus reducing the chance of getting injured. Engaging in different sports activities or performing different workout routines also help prevent you from hitting weight loss plateaus.

5. Don the Right Fashion

As big of a klutz as I am, the injuries I sustained while riding the bike was not only because of my lack of skills but also due to my lack of protection. I was only wearing my normal play clothes and none of the protective gear such as helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, and ankle braces. You can also wear headbands to keep your face off from sweat. These accessories could have saved me from the wounds I sustained on my elbows and knees had I worn them.

That is why wearing proper attire when engaging in physical activities is a must. The right accessories and clothing will shield you from possible wounds and from more serious injuries. Sure, they are not exactly fashionable, but they can always be removed after you exercise.

6. Eat Well and Hydrate

Sure, exercising is important but eating well and hydrating is just as important too. After all, a healthy body is 90% made in the kitchen and 10% made in the gym. Always remember that eating right is of utmost importance as this will give you the energy to exercise. With proper nutrition, muscle repair will also be a breeze.

7. Cooling Down is Important, Too

You know how when you work out your body is up and running, your heart is beating fast, and you just know it is exerting a lot of effort?

This should not stop abruptly. In the same way that you ease into exercising, you should also ease your way out of it. You can cool down by doing a slow walk or a gentle stretch for five to ten minutes.

This way, your flexibility is maintained even after working out. So, if you begin something (warm-up) be sure to end (cool down) it well, too.

8. Listen to Your Body

For me, this is the most important tip of all. There are days you just don’t feel like exercising; some days you power through it, some days you just can’t - that is okay. The most important thing about working out is the ability to listen to your body and knowing when it needs to stop.

Pushing ourselves to the limit from time to time is okay. However, overdoing it is an entirely different thing. Our bodies have a certain threshold that we must respect and abide by to keep it going.

Keeping fit is very important. As the adage goes, “Health is wealth.” We cannot buy our way through health - we must all work for it. Injuries are inevitable; they happen, but they can be prevented, too.

With proper measures taken, our fear of sustaining injuries should not hinder us from working out and engaging in physical activities. And, if we do sustain any injury, know that as long as we follow the doctor’s orders and do our part to recover well, we will be fine. Remember: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

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