Getting fit without injuring yourself
Staying fit is necessary to live a healthy life and the benefits of exercising are numerous. Exercising will keep you looking toned, keep your weight at manageable levels and increase your energy levels. As a bonus, working out can help you avoid certain lifestyle diseases including diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and even strokes. This should be more than enough motivation to get started.
There is much more to getting fit than simply going out for a run or lifting weights at the gym. You have to plan out your fitness regime to get the best results. Rushing into any exercise or workout session could spell disaster for your body, especially if you are just starting. In order to avoid serious injuries, your body needs to be prepared and gently eased into your new exercise regime.
Failure to prepare your body could predispose you to a number of injuries. Joint injuries are the most common since these areas of your body are responsible for bearing your weight as you start working out. Your knees, elbows, ankles and wrists as well as your back, shoulders and neck are vulnerable to injury during exercise, so it is important to know the proper methods to use.
The following steps include some of the ways you can get fit without injuring yourself:
Consult a physician.
It is always advisable to go for a complete physical checkup before getting started on an exercise regime. This is especially important if you are elderly or have a chronic illness. The checkup might also reveal underlying issues such as high blood sugar, high cholesterol or hypertension that may affect the type of exercises you are allowed to engage in. Remember to inform your doctor that you intend to start working out so that he can advise you on what to do or avoid. According to the Atlanta Chiropractors at AICA, It is always advisable to go for a complete physical checkup before getting started on an exercise regime. This is especially important if you are elderly or have a chronic illness.
Wear proper shoes and clothing.
Your shoes and clothing play a big role in determining how comfortable you are when exercising. For starters, you need to have strong shoes with adequate arch support to cushion your ankles and knees from impact. Additionally, you can purchase suitable sportswear to help you with your fitness regime.
Compression clothing is especially recommended for its ability to enhance blood circulation while providing body support. For instance, compression shirts can help support your upper body while compression shorts do the same for your legs. These days, there is a wide selection of compression shirts, socks, tights and even sleeves designed for different parts of your body. These clothes can also improve your recovery time between workouts.
Warm up before and cool down after your sessions.
Another surefire way to avoid injuring yourself while exercising is by warming up and cooling down after working out. Warming up allows you to stretch your muscles, loosen your joints and improve circulation prior to your exercise session. This makes your muscles and joints loose enough to handle the rigors of exercise and minimizes the risk of injury. The best way to warm up is by engaging in a form of low-impact cardio. Cooling down after a session is crucial in reducing your heart rate at a healthier pace.
You also need to stay adequately hydrated to get the best out of your exercise. Dehydration can leave you feeling fatigued and tired, making you more vulnerable to injury. To avoid this, always drink enough water before and after working out. You also need to eat enough food to keep your energy levels up. Be careful not to over eat after exercising and instead, opt for healthy meals and snacks.
Vary your regime.
Vary your workout regime in order to increase your endurance and to avoid overusing one set of muscles. Cross-training where you swim one day, lift weights the next and hit the elliptical the day after that allows you to get a total body workout.
Work with a personal trainer.
If you are a total beginner at working out, you might want to engage the services of a personal trainer— especially at the gym. A trainer can show you how to use the gym equipment and also help you come up with a suitable fitness regime to suit your body and needs. This can help you make the most of your workouts while avoiding injury.
Finally, it is important to always give yourself sufficient time to recover after every exercise session. Learn to listen to your body and to stop if you feel any pain. While muscle soreness is inevitable after a good workout, constant pain might indicate that something is wrong. Seek medical attention if you sustain any injuries while exercising. Remember that your body needs to build endurance as you get fit, so start slowly and increase your pace as you go on, allowing ample time for resting to avoid injuring yourself.