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How to exercise without risking injury

on September 07, 2020

Having sufficient exercise is necessary for our body to stay in shape. While many of us know this, the same cannot be said about how to go about exercise safely. Injuries occurring from personal exercise topped the charts in 2017, with the National Safety Council reporting 526,000 cases, more than any other sport or exercise[1]. Hence, it is important to raise awareness of the necessary steps in ensuring an injury-free exercise regime.

 

1. Stretching

    Stretching is often overlooked because people want to get started with intense exercises right away. However, this might lead to muscle injuries as the muscles aren’t adequately warmed up and elongated to cope with the high-intensity workout. It is important to note that your body ought not to be completely cold before stretching. Loosen the muscles by shaking up your body to get some blood pumping. This, together with stretching, will ensure a supply of oxygenated blood to your muscles to reduce risk of injury, relieve aches and enhance performance[2].

     Girl stretching after workout

     

    2. Gradual build-up in exercise intensity

      Having a set of warm-up exercises before getting to the high-intensity part of the training is recommended. This allows your muscles to gradually get used to the physical demands and lowers the chance of muscle or ligament tears. Examples of such warm-up exercises could be jogging on the spot, jumping jacks and high knees. If you’re doing high-intensity exercise for a particular part of the body, tailor your warm-up exercises to focus on that area[3].



      3. Drink Water

        Dehydration and heat injury can occur during high-intensity exercise and could be fatal. Drinking sufficient water will lower the odds of this occurrence. Water intake should be before, during and after exercise. The suggested amounts of water are 17 to 20 ounces a few hours before exercise, and 8 ounces 20 to 30 minutes before commencement. When undergoing exercise, plan for 7 to 10 ounces for every 10 to 20 minutes and cool down with 8 ounces within at least 30 minutes after a workout[4].

         Girl drinking water while working out

         

        4. Cooldown

          Gradually increasing the intensity of the workout is important in preventing injury. Likewise, so is decreasing it gradually before coming to a stop. Participate in a set of low-intensity exercises 2-3 minutes before bringing the workout to an end. This allows your body time to regulate body temperature and further reduce the chances of injury.

           

          5. Wearing the right footwear

            Footwear is very important for any exercise and its best to invest in proper footwear to reduce injury. Good footwear helps cushion the impact on your feet while exercising and might even elevate your performance levels by providing better mobility. Some well-known injuries such as ankle sprains and fractures, bunions and heel discomfort are caused by poor footwear[5].

            Running shoes

             

            6. Rest

            Getting sufficient rest in between workouts is important as well. For people who are very unfit, it might take up to 48-hours rest in between. Those who have been regularly exercising can reduce the break to 24-hours[6]. It is important to bear in mind that progress is a gradual process, and we should not risk injury for the sake of accelerating it.


            CONCLUSION

            Taking the necessary precautions before, during and after exercise is very important in preventing injuries. To perform at our optimum, we should get into the habit of taking care of our body. Do your stretches, warm-ups, cool-downs, invest in the right footwear and have plenty of water and rest. You won’t regret it!

             

            Disclaimer

            This blog post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The views and nutritional advice expressed are not intended for the purpose of providing medical advice. Please always consult your health care provider if you are experiencing any medical conditions. All content on this page has been thoroughly reviewed. Nevertheless, no liability can be accepted for the completeness and accuracy of the information. 

             

            References

            [1]        Facts + Statistics: Sports injuries. (n.d.). Retrieved August 04, 2020, from
            https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-sports-injuries

            [2]        Dizon, J. (2018, August 27). 15 Important Benefits of Stretching Before, After, and During a Workout. Retrieved August 04, 2020, from
            https://www.lifehack.org/794477/benefits-of-stretching

            [3]        Concern, W. (n.d.). How Can I Exercise Safely, Without Risking Injury? Retrieved August 04, 2020, from http://www.weightconcern.com/node/123

            [4]        Importance of Drinking Water During Exercise. (n.d.). Retrieved August 04, 2020, from https://www.livestrong.com/article/339075-importance-of-drinking-water-during-exercise/

            [5]        Grace, E. (n.d.). Why Is It Important to Wear Proper Shoes While Working Out? Retrieved August 04, 2020, from https://www.livestrong.com/article/297024-why-is-it-important-to-wear-proper-shoes-while-working-out/

            [6]        Concern, W. (n.d.). How Can I Exercise Safely, Without Risking Injury? Retrieved August 04, 2020, from http://www.weightconcern.com/node/123