7 top tips to help keep you injury free!
1. Warm your body up before you start your workout session!
Each workout should start with a 5-10 minute warm-up consisting of gentle cardiovascular exercise. This gets blood flowing to your muscles, tendons and joints and helps to prepare your body for your chosen activity. If you are doing a specific sport, you should finish your warm up with some movements that mimic that sport so that the right muscles, joints and tendons get an extra targeted warm up before you start.
2. Cool down properly when you finish exercising!
The cool-down is the most commonly forgotten portion of a workout! It should consist of 5-10 minutes of low-intensity cardiovascular activity, followed by stretching. The cool-down helps to safely bring your heart rate down and reduce any delayed onset muscle soreness, as well as aid in post exercise tissue recovery.
3. Stretch your body out!
The best time to stretch is when your body is warmed up. Both static and dynamic stretches will help increase the flexibility in your muscles, joints and tendons which will reduce the risk of injury.
4. Progress slowly!
It’s easy to get carried away but try not to do too much, too soon. Overdoing it can lead to excessive joint and soft tissue soreness, tightness and damage. A safe guideline to use when an exercise becomes too easy is to increase the amount and intensity of it 5%.
5. Listen to your body!
If your body is too sore or tired from a previous workout, you should take a day off and rest. You can’t get faster or stronger without allowing your body time to heal and recover. It is advisable not to exercise everyday of the week and to have 1-2 days off to avoid injury. If a muscle or joint pain doesn’t start to improve within 48 hours of the pain commencing, it could be an indication of a more serious injury developing and should be assessed by a professional if the pain persists.
6. Follow a healthy diet and stay hydrated!
It is essential that you have a healthy balanced diet consisting of fresh fruit and vegetables with sufficient amounts of protein, fat and carbohydrates for your body to function and heal at it’s optimum level. A poor diet, high in processed foods and sugar, can contribute to muscle weakness and decreased cardiovascular endurance. Hydration is equally as important and should be maintained before, during and after your workouts. Some people also find adding electrolytes to their water beneficial.