Preventing Exercise Injuries
Exercise is a great way to improve cardiovascular health and strength, reduce stress, and stave off the effects of aging. However, it’s important to make safety a priority during exercise since an injury can put you out of commission for weeks or even months. Here are some tips for avoiding injury during exercise.
When In Doubt, Get The Doc’s Okay
If it’s been a while since you’ve engaged in regular exercise or if you suffer from any form of chronic illness, don’t take a chance: a quick trip to the doctor for a physical can put your mind at ease and ensure your workout plans won’t lead to disaster. Be sure to let the doctor know if there are any areas of concern to you, such as sore muscles or joints, or if you have a history of breathing, neurological or circulatory issues. Also take the opportunity to discuss the type and frequency of exercise you have in mind, so the doctor can let you know if your plans are sound or any changes are recommended.
Yes, Warming Up Really IS Important
Whether your warmup takes the form of stretching or a low-impact activity like walking, it’s a crucial step in preparing your body for the workout to come and avoiding injury. The warmup gets your blood flowing and increases your breathing rate, delivering needed energy to your organs and muscles to prepare them for the work they’re about to do. A warmup also literally warms your muscles so that they’re more flexible and less prone to stress and overextension injuries.
Gearing Up for Injury Prevention – Even If Your Sport Doesn’t Involve a Helmet or Pads
You probably already know that most exercise-related injuries involve the muscles and joints. From shin splints to carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow, most such injuries are preventable. The usual advice is to avoid pushing your body beyond its limits, but very often you don’t learn what those limits are until you’ve overstepped them and suffered joint or muscle damage. Wearing wrist, knee or ankle supports, as well as warming or compressing arm and leg sleeves, can offer more wiggle room between the safe and danger zones during exercise.
Many people think of joint supports as something you need after an injury has occurred, but they can also prevent injuries when worn as a precaution. The added support is especially important for aging joints, which are already prone to injury simply due to decades of use. Depending on your chosen activity, consider getting supports for the knees, wrists or ankles in particular, as these are the most common problem areas.
Similarly, compression and warming sleeves aren’t just for those in recovery. These sleeves, made for arms and legs, help keep muscles warm by improving circulation and providing a layer of exterior insulation.
Preventing an injury is always easier and better than having to recover from one.
- Lifestyle Staff