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4 Ways to Prevent Injuries When You are Exercising

Updated on March 12, 2012


If you have decided to start an exercise plan, congratulations! It is a worthy goal to get or keep you healthy for life. One of the dangers that many new exercisers face is getting injured while they work out. This can sideline them for days, weeks, or even months, and allow them to lose the momentum and motivation. By following a few tips, you can limit or prevent injuries so that you can keep your exercise routines in place and reach your goals.

Don't Overdo It

It can be tempting to jump into an exercise program with both feet and go crazy. However, it is better to start out slow and increase your times and weights. It will take some time for your body to adjust and by doing too much, you risk straining muscles and causing other injuries.

  • Schedule a day of rest after strength training a muscle group. This allows your muscles a chance to repair themselves after a tough workout.
  • Alternate days of high intensity and moderate or low intensity cardio. You do not want to go at the same pace every time you work out. It actually helps your body to mix it up on different days. You can even do different cardio exercises to gain more benefit without overtaxing your body.
  • Don't start out lifting weights that are too heavy. The basic rule is to choose a weight that will tire you out after 8-12 reps. You risk serious injury to your muscles, tendons, and ligaments by using a weight that is too heavy.

Use Proper Form

Learn how to use exercise equipment the correct way before you begin. Whether it's weight machines or free weights, you can benefit from a session with a personal trainer. Some gyms also give you an introduction when you join to show you the exercise equipment.

If you will be working out at home, watch videos on the internet that show you exactly how to perform an exercise. Watch a DVD or YouTube video through the first time before you try to copy the moves. This will allow you to focus on how the trainer is moving and the correct way to do an exercise before you attempt it.

If you attempt an exercise and do it the wrong way, you risk injury. You can put a strain on your muscles whether it is strength training or cardio. Learn the correct way to walk or run on a treadmill or elliptical machine. For instance, you shouldn't hold on to the treadmill when you are walking or running. Your head should be up and your shoulders back. Hold your stomach in and land on your feet and push off with your toes.

Take the time to learn the exercises before you attempt them. It can be hard to do the extra homework when you are anxious to get started, but it will be worth it in the end.

Take Time to Warm Up and Stretch

Many people have a tendency to skip the stretching part of the workout routine. They don't see instant benefits so if they are running short on time, this is the part they overlook. This is a serious mistake that can result in injury.

Warming up allows your muscles to get ready for the rest of the workout. If you demand too much of your muscles while they are cold and stiff, you are at a higher risk for strained or pulled muscles. The few minutes it takes to warm up can keep you from being sidelined for days or weeks with a muscle strain.

Stretching at the end of a workout is just as important. This allows your muscles to relax and helps to prevent soreness.

Drink Plenty of Water

This is an important step before, during, and after a workout. Your body loses water when you sweat and it can cause your muscles to cramp. This is painful and will make your muscles sore.

Water also transports nutrients to your muscles, such as electrolytes that are lost when you sweat during a workout. When you don't have enough electrolytes, your muscles do not have as much strength and control, which is essential in weightlifting.

Water also lubricates your joints like oil does for the gears on a machine. This is important any time, but especially when you are putting additional stress on your joints during exercise.

There are numerous ways that water helps your body, so it is important that you take the time to drink during a workout as well as getting your required daily amount the rest of the time.

It's great that you have decided to make exercise a regular part of your routine; but take the time to do the things that will help prevent injury. By following these tips, you will be protecting your body so that you won't be sidelined from your workouts. Instead, you will be motivated to continue exercising and make it a lifelong habit.


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    • njames306 profile image

      njames306 5 years ago

      Thanks for the tips JM