You’ve heard the expression “No pain, no gain.” But how accurate is it? In many ways it is true. After a good workout session you will be sore and tired. When you first start lifting weights, you’ll probably feel it the next morning when you wake up. But there is a difference between being sore and being injured. Although many injuries are common, you can avoid most of them if you take some simple precautions.
The number one thing you can do to prevent injuries is to warm up before every workout. This is true whether you are doing cardio, strength training, or working to increase your flexibility. Warming up can take as little time as five or ten minutes. To warmup, start with some slow and gentle movements that you gradually increase. One of the most common injuries that can be avoided with a few minutes of warming up is muscle strain, especially to the hamstrings. This isn’t a serious injury, but it does need a few days off so your muscles can heal. Instead of having your exercise routine interrupted, prevent strains by warming up before every session, even if you are short on time.
Strengthen Your Shins
Shin splits are another common injury that can often be avoided. To prevent shin splits, work on strengthening your shin muscles. If you work with a trainer, have them demonstrate the best exercises for strengthening shin muscles. A lack of cushioning in shoes can also cause shin splits, so be sure to buy proper athletic shoes and replace them regularly. Some people may need orthotics in their shoes. If you have continuous problems, you may want to talk to a podiatrist.
Stretching is the key to avoiding some injuries such as Achilles tendon. Regular stretching is the best way to keep muscles from becoming too tight. Remember that stretching should always be done after a workout, not before it. If you want to add some extra stretches to days when you aren’t working out, be sure to warm up first.
Get a Personal Trainer
Working with a personal trainer who can show you the proper way to do exercises can go a long way towards avoiding injuries. Many injuries are caused by bad form or technique. By working with someone who is experienced, you’ll be able to avoid this problem. This is especially good advice if you have had knee problems or other joint pain in the past.
Vary Your Routine
Finally, consider varying your workout routine. Some injuries are just caused by repeated stress on an area. Start cross training so that you are working out different muscles on different days. This won’t prevent all injuries, but it is a good step to take.
Injuries always take time to heal. You may be needed to stop exercising for days, weeks, or even months due to an injury you received while working out. It is far better to do what you can to prevent them from occurring in the first place.