Prevention, there is a whole magazine dedicated to it people. It’s that important. One of the worst fitness mistake someone can make is not skipping workouts or binging on ice cream, but laying themselves out for a few weeks because they pulled a muscle.
Injuries are the biggest setback to your fitness goals. There is no limit to the amount of time you can lose recovering when you could be gaining muscle, speeding up your mile pace, or incorporating fitness into your lifestyle.
That being said, there are very simple ways that you can prevent injury during your workout. These five tips will not only keep you safe, but are also guaranteed to increase your performance during your workout. So here it is.
Be smart: Just because you lifted a certain amount 5 years ago in your fitness prime, doesn’t mean you can lift the same today after not lifting for 5 years. Pushing your body to the breaking point every time is no way to make gainz. Going too hard too soon is a huge way people get injured. It’s good to have that champion mentality, but you need to gradually build up strength and stamina to avoid hurting yourself and losing motivation for workouts later in the week.
DON’T SKIP WARM UP !!: Warming up before your workout is how your body prepares to perform. Increased blood flow to your arm and leg muscles ensures the oxygen flow you need. The increased body temp lets your tendons and muscles become more flexible as well. Besides all that, a good warm up helps you focus and stay motivated for the task at hand.
Learn proper form: This one is a biggie for people who are on a solo fitness journey. Especially when weights are involved, it becomes really risky to bend the wrong way. When you have incorrect form, the muscles you are trying to work won’t receive any benefit and the exercise will most likely just put a strain on your joints. Doing weighted squats incorrectly, for example, are how many people hurt their knees and back. To avoid this, look up youtube videos to learn form and check yourself in the gym mirror. Or, better yet, hire a personal trainer (ahem) so you always have someone ensuring your form is on point.
Rest when you need to: Like me, if you have that “go big or go home” mentality it can bite you in the butt real quick. You’re looking for fast results, and you are working your butt off to get them. While I think this is a great attitude, you can’t ignore your body when it’s giving you signals to rest. When you're joints are feeling achy, your muscles are sore for more than 24-48 hours, or you feel fatigued, it’s time to let your body recover.
No matter what fitness level you’re at, these tips will help keep you safe and strong. Until next time my friends!