More times than not, sustaining an injury is what causes many of us to fall off our exercise program. Whether it is the beginner who does too much too soon, the experienced exerciser who suffers from an overuse injury, or the harried person who skips a proper warm-up or cool down, active people faced with even a minor injury can find themselves on the sidelines and unable to meet their fitness goals.
Regular, physical activity is crucial to a healthylifestyle. To increase your chances of remaining injury free, Wellintune recommends the following strategies:
1. Start slowly and build up gradually – Regardless of whether you are starting a new running or strength training program, it is important to begin slowly and gradually increase intensity (how hard you run or how much weight you lift) and duration (the length of your workouts). This concept also comes into play with each workout. Make sure you give yourself enough time to incorporate an effective warm up and cool down into each exercise session.
2. Listen to your body - When you push your body, you can expect muscle fatigue during the workout and some muscle soreness after you exercise. However, sharp, acute pain during movement or a chronic, nagging pain that gets worse with exercise, are causes for concern. If you ignore these warning signs, you may be exacerbating an underlying injury and increasing the time it will take to heal.
3. Match your effort to your skills and fitness level – We may want to win the tennis match, bench press more than our buddy, ski the expert slope, or win the race. However, many of us need to tone down our competitive nature and avoid excessive efforts that could lead to injuries. If your goal is to remain active throughout your life, staying healthy and injury free is a key strategy.