Workout injuries are downright horrible. They can put a hold on your fitness journey and prevent you from reaching your maximum results. However, they do happen, even to professional athletes. Luckily, there are things you can do in order to prevent injuries and recover from them in record time.
Get your doctor’s approval
Before you start any sort of more serious physical activity, it’s best to check with your doctor. This especially applies to women over 55, men over 45 and to all people with medical conditions. This way, you can ensure you’re healthy enough to tackle all sorts of workouts and fitness regimes.
Warm-up and cool down
Every time you hit the gym or go jogging, make sure to start your workout with a warm-up. This will help your body get into exercise mode slowly. Your heart rate will increase gradually and your muscles and joints will loosen up, all of which help prevent injury. Once you’re finished with your workout, perform a light cool-down that will slowly bring your heart rate down to normal. Both warm-up and cool-down will take up only 5 to 10 minutes of your workout, so make sure not to skip them.
In order to avoid injury and have a more pleasant workout, make sure to stretch before and after your session. This will increase flexibility and offer a nice way to prevent muscle soreness. These stretches are recommended not only for people who regularly work out but also for everyone who wants to relieve pain and feel more limber.
Ensure good form
If you’re not using good form, you can warm-up, cool down and stretch as much as you can and still end up with an injury. Round you back while deadlifting and you risk lower back injury or let your knees bow in during the squat and you risk a serious knee injury. So, if you’re a beginner, find a personal trainer to show you proper form and achieve great results while avoiding injury.
Engage in physiotherapy
No matter if you’re playing a sport or regularly hitting the weights at the gym, your activity can cause all sorts of tightness, strain and injury. So, if you notice any issues with pain or tension, you can try seeing a physiotherapist. While some therapists only treat injuries, others also provide true rehabilitation. For instance, experts in physio from Hong Kong put great effort into the identification and treatment of the causes behind the dysfunction instead of just managing the symptoms. Also, the best physiotherapy is based on movement which gives you an opportunity to keep training while treating your injury. So, make sure to find experienced therapists and you’ll soon be back on the field, court or ring.
Try applying ice
If you injure something while working out, you will probably know it right away. So, as soon as you can, try to put some ice on the area. This helps with swelling, inflammations and internal bleeding and reduces the intensity of injury and promotes healing. However, make sure not to apply ice directly on your skin, since severe cold can irritate the skin. Instead, wrap your ice in a damp towel or use an icepack. Additionally, you don’t want to ice the injured area for too long. It’s best to apply ice in ‘sets’ of 15 minutes. Ice for 15 minutes, take it off for 15 minutes and repeat as much as you can over a period of 24 hours.
This is perhaps the most important advice when it comes to preventing and healing from an injury. It all comes down to resting and avoiding unnecessary stress on the injured area until the healing is over. Healing from an injury can take time (which can be very frustrating if you’re itching to get back to your workouts) but allowing your body to rest and recover will greatly reduce the chance of your injury returning in a week or a month. Generally, you want to take at least a couple of days off after your pain stops. Of course, when in pain, you really shouldn’t push yourself, otherwise, you can risk permanent damage.
Proper prevention and injury management will ensure your workout regime doesn’t suffer. Plus, when you know you’re safe and prepared for any crisis, you can give 110% and achieve the best results.
Contributed by Luke Douglas.