Getting into shape often comes with a cost attached – work out injuries. At times, these injuries can be simple muscle pulls. While at times these can be as severe as extremely painful ligament tears. Those of us who prefer working out at home, are bereft of any supervision. It is more likely one would be unaware of such injuries and not know how to deal with them. Here are 5 simple tips you can try incorporating into your workout schedule, to try and avoid workout injuries.
1. Warming Up
The most common work out mistake we are prone to committing. Being over-confident that we don’t need to warm up before starting our work out. It is extremely essentially to spend a couple of minutes warming up to wake the muscles up. This increases blood circulation and hence readies the body for the real work out. A simple 10 minute warm up goes a long way in keeping muscle injuries at bay.
Incorporate a routine of stretching into your regular work out sessions. Both post warm up, before the main workout, and post the main work out. This not only improves flexibility, but also goes a long way in maintaining proper body shape. As you stretch, do so mindfully, by paying attention to each part of your body, including your fingers and toes!
It is extremely important to take care of your nutrition before and after work out. While it is essential to not fill up your stomach before the workout, you must also take care to have enough calories in your body which serve as fuel to facilitate the workout. The best way to go about this is to consume carbs in limited quantities before your workout. Post workout, make sure to consume the necessary protein. This ensures that your body gets the required resources to recover from the strain of workout, and to fortify itself.
Probably one of the most important factors for a successful and injury-free workout. Remember that the amount of water you lose in the form of sweat during work out, needs to be replaced in double. The water needs to be consumed intermittently (every ten – twenty minutes), before, during and after the work-out. Drink water in limited quantities each time instead of chugging it. Getting dehydrated during or because of a workout can lead to some severe injuries, which can otherwise so simply be avoided.
5. Knowing Your Strengths, and Weaknesses
It feels good to do your best, it is also crucial to know your strengths, and more importantly, your weaknesses. Do not over work parts of your body you know cannot take the strain. If it has been a physically draining day for you, do simple stretches to stick to your routine, but avoid a complete workout which will do you more harm than good on days like those. Take it slow and remember your weaknesses. Every body type has its own mode of functioning and responding to work outs – overdoing things will only lead to injuries and burn outs.
Paying heed to these basic and simple principles go a long way in keeping away work out injuries, and in increasing your overall fitness. To speak metaphorically, your body is almost like a machine which works only as efficiently as you use it. Take care of it and be mindful about what it tries to tell you. Nutrition, hydration, mobility and rest in the necessary proportion is all the elixir you will ever need for a long and healthy life!