When you are actively working out and doing your best to get in shape and lose those extra pounds, getting injured is the last thing you need. Not only is it painful, but it will put your mission on hold and you won’t be able to return to your gym in days, weeks, or even months, depending on the type of injury. Don’t worry, if you want to work out without getting hurt, you just need to avoid some of the common mistakes people make in the gym and you’ll be fine. On the other hand, if you do get injured, it is good to know how to easily recover and get back on your feet as soon as possible. So, without further ado, here is a list of tips that will help you prevent and recover from workout injuries.
Don’t let your ego get the best of you
One of the most common ways people get injured during a workout is by dropping weights on themselves. Maybe your ego is telling you that you definitely can lift more than the person standing next to you, but be realistic. Maybe you will be able to lift that weight and get your five seconds of fame, but the moment that squat bar hits your shoulder, back or your foot, you will realize that it wasn’t worth it at all. Therefore, workout with weights that you can properly handle, and lower your risk of injury.
Wear comfortable shoes
Did you know that wearing uncomfortable shoes can lead to various health problems? In fact, wrong footwear can cause stress and pain to your bones and joints, as well as athlete’s foot, ingrown toenails, and blisters and corns. Therefore, make sure you have comfortable, well-fitting shoes before you start working out.
Don’t forget to warm up
Yes, warming up can be boring and it seems like it doesn’t do anything for you, which is why many people skip it. Well, this is one of the most common mistakes. Another one is believing that warming up should consist of a few minutes of static stretching. The whole point of it is to gradually increase your heart rate and loosen your muscles and joints, and the best way to do it is to ride a stationary bike for a couple of minutes, jump rope or simply jog in place. While you need to warm up before a workout, you need to cool-down after it. When you are done with exercising, bring your heart rate back to normal by walking for ten minutes.
Know when to stop
How many times have you heard someone in the gym saying ‘Just push through the pain’ or ‘No pain, no gain’? If you would actually follow that advice you would end up getting hurt. The pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong, so if you experience it you should stop whatever you are doing.
Treat your injuries with ice
If you are experiencing pain and inflammation, ice is your best friend. It will reduce swelling and internal bleeding from injured capillaries, just don’t apply it for more than 15 minutes.
In order to reduce swelling and inflammation use an elastic bandage and wrap the injured part tightly. However, make sure you don’t go overboard and impair blood flow. Since ice has the same purpose, you can combine these two methods and wrap a bandage over the ice pack.
Elevate the injured body part
If you have injured your arm or leg, raise it above your heart in order to reduce the swelling and remove waste products from the area. Put a pillow under the injured body part to easily elevate it.
Heat can be very helpful when you get injured because it stimulates blood flow. However, don’t apply it for the first three days or you will aggravate inflammation instead of reducing it.
Just because your body is doing all the work, doesn’t mean your brain should go on a vacation. When you are working out use your common sense (and these tips) and you will be able to steer clear of injuries.