A Handy Guide to Avoiding Gym Injuries
Whether you are a rookie who has hit the gym for the first time in order to gain some muscle or lose some weight, or you are a gym veteran considered a part of the gym inventory, injuries can happen to anyone. To some due to lack of experience, to others due to exaggeration or simply bad luck.
Be that as it may, there are some tips that can help you prevent serious gym injuries. No one wants to be forced out of the gym for an indefinite period of time because of an injury. And apart from preventing you from exercising regularly, a gym mishap can affect your whole life and prevent you from leading a normal, active life. So here is how to minimize the risk, without diminishing the results:
Warmup and stretching
This is such a simple requirement, yet many overlooke it and fail to do this properly. Regardless of how fit you are or how eager you are to start doing “real” exercise, don’t skip the warm up. This helps your body as well as your mind to get ready for the upcoming activity by raising your body temperature, increasing your blood flow and preparing your muscles for the effort, which could cause serious injuries if done on cold muscles.
Stretching is also important, after, as well as before the work-out. It releases any tension and tightness in your muscles and increases the effect of the training. It is crucial to stretch after your gym session sinces not doing so may leave your muscles painful and stiff. This is also a good way to let your body know the effort is over so it can start recharging.
Ask for advice
If you are not particularly experienced in the gym, ask the staff for help. They will prescribe for you a set of exercises depending on your body type and the desired result, and show you how to use different machines or perform different exercises. Even better, get a personal trainer who will adjust all the exercises to your ability levels and ensure you don’t get hurt at the gym.
Even if you are experienced, you may not know everything. You can at least share the experiences with other gym members and maybe learn something new. Also, make sure you don’t overestimate yourself and get hurt. You might want to listen to others who had to learn the hard way. There is really nothing to prove, not to yourself or anyone else, your results are already impressive. The most important thing is to keep your body healthy and uninjured.
Constantly putting a lot of pressure on the same group of muscles can only be counterproductive and eventually cause an injury. For maximum results, do not overwork your muscles. Instead, change the focus and avoid falling into a workout routine. This will also enhance your results, especially if you are trying to lose weight, as your body will need more strength and spend more calories to perform an exercise it is not used to. Besides saving you from a potential injury and giving certain groups of your muscles a much needed rest, this will also help you speed up your metabolism.
Also, make sure you listen to your body and do not put too much stress and pressure on it. Be ambitious and do your best, but do not torture your muscles and your whole body. Remember, hitting the gym has a lot to do with keeping you healthy, not ruining your health. So be sure to switch between the groups of muscles, gradually increase the number and intensity of exercises and regularly change your work-out program before it becomes a routine.
Article by Lara Jannsen