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7 Tips for Preventing Injuries During Workouts and Other Physical Activities

Exercising is great for the mind and body but, if you’re not careful, you can get hurt. From scrapes and scratches to pulled muscles and neck and back injuries, there’s a lot that can go wrong when you’re engaged in moderate to intense physical activities like exercising. While this shouldn’t convince you to stop working out, what you should do is be prepared. Taking precautions will minimize your chances of getting hurt and ensure that you get the workout your body needs.

1.  Talk to the Doc

Prior to engaging in any physical activity, it is imperative to talk with your doctor. All exercise routines, sports, and other intense physical activities have the potential to cause harm to your physical health. Your doctor is aware of your medical history and can determine whether a particular activity is safe for you to participate in.

2.  Wear Appropriate Workout Gear

When working out or engaging in intense physical activities like sports, wearing the right gear is ideal. For instance, sweat pants, shorts, or yoga pants are great for working out. Additionally, wearing protective gear is a must. Workout gear, such as a compression brace, while playing a game of basketball can prevent you from getting injured on the court. Wearing a mouth guard while playing football will protect your teeth from being damaged. A back brace might provide support for those who wish to lift heavy weights. The right gear and protective equipment go a long way to minimizing your risk of getting hurt.

3.  Be Realistic in Your Approach

If you’re going to start a new workout routine or participate in a new sport, be realistic with your expectations of your performance. Simply because you could lift 250 lb weights when you were in your 20s doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do the same in your 30s. Start slow and work your way up to your fitness or performance goals. Trying to outdo your personal best too soon could result in injuries.

4.  Stretch Before Activities

Whether you’re about to start lifting weights, getting ready to head to your dance class, or are going to the park to play a game with some friends, make sure that you warm your muscles up prior to engaging in these activities. Stretching prior to working out allows your body to adjust and prepare for the upcoming activities preventing many injuries that come from engaging in rigorous activities with cold muscles.

5.  Stay Hydrated

Water is the fuel that is often overlooked during physical activities. Sure, you might sip some water after the workout, but that is not enough. Your body is losing water as you sweat and it badly needs to be replenished to continue performing efficiently. Drinking water before, during, and after your workout or physical activity will not only quench your thirst, it will also keep your joints and muscles lubricated to minimize the risk of getting hurt.

6.  Listen to Your Body

It is also important to listen to your body. You cannot be so consumed with reaching a goal that you neglect the subtle signs that are being thrown at you. If your knee starts throbbing, perhaps it’s time to stop for the day. If you’re starting to feel tired and it goes beyond the basic fatigue of a tough workout, you need to listen. Working your body beyond its limits can lead to injury.

7.  Rest

Lastly, it is important to get good sleep. Working out or completing other physical activities on a fatigued body is never a good idea as your body needs time to replenish and repair.

Exercise, sports, and other physical activities are a lot of fun to engage in and can do wonders for your health. What must be remembered in all of this is that your safety must come first. Take the above-mentioned precautions when engaging in any moderate to intense activities to ensure that you can have fun and benefit from these activities without ending up in the emergency room.

About the author

Kara Perez

Kara lives in Austin, TX, working as a writer and a nonprofit development associate. She graduated from Wesleyan University in 2011 with $25,302 in student loans and paid them off in three and a half years on a salary of less the $28,000. Kara blogs about debt payoff, frugal living and women in media on her website, www.fromfrugaltofree.wordpress.com

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