There is no doubt that regular exercise is a big part of staying healthy. Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, you may find yourself experiencing mild injuries while working out. Exercise injuries can happen to anyone, regardless of their fitness level, experience or ability. Though you may not be able to completely eliminate your chances of getting hurt during exercise, there are some steps you can take to minimize your risk of injury.
1. Start with a warm-up and end with a cool-down.
The warm-up period is essential for preparing your body for exercise. Warm-up activities, like jogging in place or jumping rope, help gradually increase your heart rate and loosen up your joints and muscles. A cool-down period after exercising is just as important for reducing injury. To cool-down, you can try walking for 5–10 minutes after your workout to slowly bring your heart rate back to normal.
2. Stretch after your workouts.
Though stretching before exercising used to be common practice, the benefits of this are hotly debated in the exercise world. There is no definitive proof that stretching positively or negatively influences injuries in athletes, but stretching after your workout when there is a large blood supply to your muscles can help lead to increased muscle flexibility, which in turn reduces your chances of injury.
3. Use taping or bracing to support your weak areas during workouts.
Research from the National Center for Biotechnology Information shows that techniques like athletic taping and bracing can be effective for helping support and reduce further injury in those who repeatedly experience ankle sprains. Though it may seem simple, effective taping and bracing can actually be quite complex, so it is best that you visit a fitness or healthcare professional who is experienced with these methods.
4. Listen to your body.
Many athletes and those who are regularly active may be tempted to push their limits in an effort to increase fitness performance. This can sometimes be dangerous if you are not under the supervision of a trained professional. If you feel pain while doing cardio or lifting weights, you may have an injury. Pause your workout for the day and give your body time to recover. The same holds true for exercising through an injury, as this can hinder healing.
If you experience pain as opposed to soreness for any period of time after a workout, you should consult a physician. Our highly-trained sports medicine specialists can determine what is causing the pain and prescribe the best treatment. Call us or contact us online to schedule an appointment.
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