Even the most dedicated fitness enthusiast will succumb to injury eventually. If you can’t stand the idea of pulling a muscle or straining yourself, then you’ll need to take preventative actions. Let’s review the top 4 things you can do to work out safely.
Focus on the Basics (…then Progress)
The term “back to basics” can hold a lot of merit when you’re trying to improve your health and wellness through exercise. The basics also happen to be the classics and with good reason: They work.
You’ll never see the squat go out of style and that’s because how effective it is. Before you start jumping into some high level exercise routine, keep it simple with the foundation of exercise. You’ll want to focus on, obsess over, and perfect the following exercises:
Stretch, Stretch, Stretch
While it’s not the most glamorous part of your workout, it’s undoubtedly one of the most important. Stretching does more than make you flexible. It also resets muscles to their proper length tension relationships. It breaks up lactic acids buildup, which will help with muscle soreness. Above all, it helps you to avoid injury by alleviating tension and tightness in overworked muscles.
Imagine having extremely tight calf muscles and then trying to sprint. You’re asking for trouble.
Stretch for the sake of your muscles and to help you avoid future injuries.
Eat Clean, Eat Right
You’ve got the working out part down. You go to the gym several times a week and when you’re not there, you’re taking a walk, hiking, or biking. If you aren’t supplying yourself with adequate nutrition, you are putting your muscles and yourself at risk.
Nutrition fuels your activities. It is also critical in the repair of muscle tissue and cells. If you’re running low on quality nutrition, then your muscles can’t repair themselves. What’s more, your central nervous system (CNS) can’t bounce back.
Pretty soon, you’ll be feeling fatigued regardless of how much sleep you get.
You’ll also experience a new level of soreness. Not like the occasional delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), this will be full body soreness.
Most importantly, you’ll be putting yourself at risk for injury, especially if you continue working out at a hard pace.
This is what is referred to as overtraining and you wouldn’t believe how common it can be. One of the best ways to combat overtraining is to make sure you are eating enough of the right foods. Strive for a diet that is rich in lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. Don’t forget about the micronutrients in the form of fruits and vegetables.
Don’t Skip on the Zs
Continuing with the idea of overtraining: Another great way to avoid the injury risk that comes with overtraining is to ensure you’re getting plenty of sleep each night.
The standard is still 8 hours; however, a more open range would be 7 to 9 hours each night.
Sleep is when everything shuts down and the body gets to work to rebuild, repair, and recover. Ensuring you avoid injury really is as easy as making sure you’re getting enough sleep each night.
Combine these four tips together to maximize muscle building and fat loss while keeping yourself safe from strains or breaks.
Tell Us What You Think!
What are your tips and tricks for avoiding injury?
Let us know in the comments section below!