If you’ve hurt yourself while exercising, then you know that overuse injuries are a serious issue. However, using these techniques will help you avoid them, so you can exercise without worrying about getting hurt.
You don’t have to end up in pain after you exercise at home or at the gym:
- Stretch first? Some people recommend doing a series of simple and effective stretches before you exercise. They say it warms up your muscles and gets them ready for a more intense workout. However, many experts will tell you to stretch AFTER your workout. Personally, I do what I feel my body needs.
- Pay attention to your body. One of the biggest reasons why overuse injuries occur is because you don’t listen to your body and push yourself too far.
- Pay attention to both your body and mind as you exercise.
- Notice the initial signs of pain, soreness, and fatigue. Avoid pushing yourself to the point of injury.
- A small strain or sprain can quickly become a bigger issue if you continue to exercise. It’s important to relax and give your body the chance to recover.
- Do strengthening exercises. Strengthening exercises such as lifting weights can do more than give you bigger muscles.
- Strengthening exercises can help you prevent overuse injuries by giving you stronger muscles and joints that don’t injure as easily. Include them in your regular routines.
- Do cross training. It’s dangerous to only do one type of exercise. Cross training allows you to do several different types of exercises in the same day, so your body gets a more effective workout.
- Cross training also helps you avoid overuse injuries because you’re putting less stress on one part of your body. For example, you can spend time running on the treadmill to get a good leg workout and later lift weights for your arms. This will help you prevent injuries.
- Be careful with pain medications. Pain medications can help you relieve the symptoms after you get an overuse injury. However, they’re also dangerous if used too often.
- Pain medications can mask the severity of your injuries and put you at risk of getting even more injured. They can encourage you to keep exercising because you’ve lessened the pain and feel like you can continue.
- It’s important to discuss your pain medication use with your doctor and trainer.
- Avoid using the medication as an excuse to keep exercising and hurting yourself.
- Continue a healthy diet. Your injuries need the right nutrition to heal. Your body supplies the nutrients to your cells, so they can recover.
- Ensure your diet includes the vitamins, minerals, and other components necessary to heal. Avoid junk food such as sugary or salty snacks and focus on vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts.
- Seek help from professionals. If you notice a minor strain or sprain that won’t go away, it may be time to get help. Speak to your trainer, doctor, or a physical therapist about the pain you feel.
- You don’t want to hide the pain and pretend you’re fine because this can lead to more injuries.
Exercise shouldn’t leave you in pain and unable to walk for weeks. You can avoid overuse injuries by following these tips.