Working out and playing sports are certainly great ways to stay in shape, but know that there are risks: if one is not sufficiently prepared for physical activity, it could lead to injury. If you’re looking to get into shape and/or sign up at your local gym, here are some things to consider before and after each session to keep sports-related injuries to a minimum.
Before you begin
Consult a doctor. Discuss the workout regimen that is best for your body with a specialist. Perhaps your knees are too weak for jogging and therefore swimming may be right for you. Some activities may also be too intense for you, so yoga or Pilates may be more appropriate.
Go slowly. It can never be said enough: there is no reason to rush through a workout. Not only can you injure yourself, but you also risk getting discouraged by the exercise’s length and difficulty. It’s important to keep moving, and increase the intensity whenever you are ready. The long-term results will be more worthwhile.
Respect the technique. Take advantage of trainers’ services and tips at the gym; they are there to help you, after all! A certified trainer can show you the proper techniques to use. Nothing is more dangerous than using a machine improperly and not following necessary steps. You end up wasting your time, making workout mistakes, and risking injury.
After each session
Stretch. Be sure to stretch, especially after your physical training. Warming your muscles will visibly minimize your risk of injury, as well as soreness the next day! Also note that each stretch must be done for at least 30 seconds and not speedily.
Rest. This requires listening closely to what your body is telling you. During your workout, don’t continue if you are in pain. Take breaks between exercises and make sure to space out your training sessions to give your body enough time to recuperate. For example, waiting 48 hours between each workout session is a great strategy.