Being physically active is encouraged by everyone. From 30 to 45 minutes per day is the recommend dosage. It is good for your health and overall mood.
But, occasional accidents and injuries are inevitable if you’re physically active. People get hurt while exercising, twisting an ankle or pulling a muscle.
For serious athletes, on the other hand, injuries are often a combination of infrequent and serious, and tend to include more overuse injuries, or problems like torn ACLs, which are near endemic in soccer players.
Of course, regardless of whether you would consider yourself a casual athlete, a weekend warrior, or a total fitness buff, it’s important to know how best to avoid injuries so that you’re not hurting yourself in preventable ways.
The following guidelines can go a long way toward safeguarding your body against serious harm, while still letting you enjoy your favorite activities.
4 Smart Tips For Avoiding Injury While Exercising:
1. Know Your Body.
Anyone who is serious about sports will tell you that sometimes you’ll need to workout when you don’t feel your best.
That doesn’t mean overextending yourself when you’re injured, more like going for a run when you’re a little sore or coming down with a cold.
Those things are part of being an athlete, but distinguishing between real injuries and being under the weather means knowing your body.
What does knowing your body look like in practice?
If you’re a runner with a chronic, mild back ache, not running is probably not the answer.
In fact, it could cause your muscles to seize up even more and make the pain worse.
Instead, your first steps should be things like checking your form and replacing your shoes to see if adjustments relieve the discomfort.
Or, if you do think running is a problem, you might consider changing exercises and swimming for a few days or weeks until your back feels a little better, rather than retiring to the couch.
You should be the one who knows your body the best.
2. Know The Activity.
Another way to avoid getting hurt when exercising is by being well versed in the activity you’re participating in.
That means, for example, knowing how to properly perform stretches or hold your body when lifting weights.
Another key rule: don’t skip your warm ups and cool downs.
These pre and post workout activities are key to caring for your muscles, and yet people frequently skip them.
3. Do Your Rehab.
If you’ve recently suffered a sports injury, you’re in a vulnerable place, physically and mentally.
Not only are you likely a bit out of shape because you needed to rest during your recovery and because your body is newly healed, but you may also be experiencing injury anxiety.
Doing your post injury physical therapy can help rehabilitate your body, but you’ll also want to go slowly and consult a trainer who can support you as you get back on the field.
Some athletes also benefit from working with a sports psychologist to overcome the mental barriers that come with recovering from an injury.
4. Play Smart.
Even if it’s not uncommon for people to get injured during sports, too often those injuries are worse than they need to be because the participants are doing something foolish, like failing to wear protective equipment or participating in an activity they’re not ready for, like a challenging race.
This is what some doctors refer to as weekend warrior syndrome, the tendency to dive into challenging activities on the weekend while being largely sedentary during the week.
That’s playing hard, not playing smart, and it’s a surefire way to hurt yourself.
For the average person, a sports injury may not derail your life or career, but it can certainly be painful, frustrating, and could be entirely avoidable with the proper precautions.
Rather than diving head first into an activity, then, first make sure you know how to participate safely.
It’s the best way to make sure you can stay on the field in the long term, not just for this season.
What You Should Remember?
Being physically active every day is healthy for your being. It’s encouraged by almost everyone. From taking a walk or a hike to doing a HIIT exercise, it’s important to move your body.
However, keep in mind that it’s easy to hurt yourself if you tackle your physical activities without any preparation.
Keep in mind these 4 tips and keep yourself safe.