9 Tips For Gym Enthusiasts To Prevent Injuries At The Gym

Aditi Patil

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9 Tips For Gym Enthusiasts To Prevent Injuries At The Gym

Year 2020! Year when all of us who loved the gym felt, ‘Oh, I wish I was quarantined at the gym rather than being locked down at home.’ A lot of time in my hands but couldn’t visit our favorite place – “THE GYM.”

Well, use this time to read tips to prevent injuries at the gym which will help you avoid injuries at the gym in the future and avoid getting locked down at home again due to some injury caused.

9 Tips For Gym Enthusiasts To Prevent Injuries At The Gym

1. Consult A Healthcare Professional Before Starting An Exercise Program

Consult A Healthcare Professional
Source: Better Health Channel

Why is it necessary to consult?

  • They help you detect any underlying medical problems that you have that can be a risk factor while exercising. e.g. heart or lung conditions which might exacerbate exercising.
  • They find out physical deficiencies, if any – for example, if you have an untreated ankle sprain which can pose a problem while exercising or which can increase your ankle injury further.
  • Counsel on health-related issues

They will help you design your exercise plan according to your underlying medical conditions and deficiencies.

Sports physiotherapists can tell you whether certain types of exercises will be helpful or harmful given your specific health history. These clinicians understand your training and their possible relationship to injury.

They will assess your fitness level and performance which will keep your health and fitness goals on track.

2. Do Not Skip Your Warm ups And Cool Downs

Do Not Skip Your Warm ups And Cool Downs
Source: lifealth.com

Warm up and cooldown are more important than your actual workout to prevent injury

Why should you do warm up?

  • Warm up increases blood flow to muscles – which helps to supply oxygen and nutrients to the working muscles.
  • Reduces stiffness in your tissues thus less likelihood of tears.
  • Helps in smoother muscle contraction.
  • Improves neural activity which helps you with coordinated body movements.
  • Helps you prepare yourself mentally for your workout.
  • Sets your cardiovascular system for your actual strenuous part of the workout.

If you are not satisfactorily stretching your body before a strenuous workout session, the various parts of your body do not get accustomed to what is going to come. One body part that can severely affected is the hips. Everything from cardio to weight training can take a toll on your hips. If you are not careful, you might have to go for a hip surgery

The intensity and duration of warm up are different for every individual; it depends on your workout for the day, your age, your surrounding temperature.

One easy guideline to keep in mind while planning your warm up is to produce some mild sweating without causing fatigue.

Why is cool down important for you?

It allows your heart rate and breathing to return to normal gradually which will avoid light-headedness or fainting.

Avoids blood pooling in the muscles and also helps remove lactic acid build-up in muscles, which can lead to muscular pain and cramps.

3. Do Not Follow YouTube & Instagram Exercise Videos Blindly

Do Not Follow YouTube & Instagram Exercise Videos Blindly
Source: Money Crashers

There are a lot of good exercise videos on these platforms but remember they are not like ‘one size fit all’

“Every ‘body’ is different have a personalized fitness program”

Consult a qualified fitness trainer & a physiotherapist for a program that fits your body.

Individuals differ in many ways – the way your body tolerates particular training loads, your body’s response to new training, your speed of recovery, psychological makeup, nutritional intake, and lifestyle habits.

The body responds to exercises depending on previous training history, age, the current state of fitness, and your genetic make-up.

4. Gradually Increase Intensity And Frequency Of Workouts

Gradually Increase Intensity And Frequency Of Workouts
Source: popsugar uk

“Too much too soon is a road towards injury.”

Steps to increase the weights you lift –

  1. Correct form – the first step with weights is to understand the correct form of exercise. Increasing the weights quickly without proper alignment of the body can land you into injuries.
  2. Increase volume (reps and sets) – once you get the form right, build up on your repetitions and sets depending on your goals.
  3. Increase weight – once the above two steps are fulfilled you should increase the weight. The weight should be gradually increased.

A logical schedule for the number of exercises, repetitions, and weight increases should be followed to prevent injury.

5. Do Not Be Ashamed To Take Help Of A Spotter

Do Not Be Ashamed To Take Help Of A Spotter
Source: Healthy Myself

One small mistake could cause the load to fall and injure someone…

Take help of a spotter, especially when load is on higher side.

Spotters will help you check your form, assist you for a controlled movement, and also assist if you can’t complete a lift. A nasty fall can lead to a serious injury and can turn out to be fatal.

6. Wear Appropriate Gym Clothes And Shoes

Wear Appropriate Gym Clothes And Shoes
Source: LifeSavvy

Loose clothes or strands from the clothes can get stuck in the equipment and cause mishaps. Wear proper fit clothes. Do not wear tight clothes that restrict your range of movements, restrict blood circulation, or cause difficulty in breathing. Wear clothes with breathable material to avoid rashes, a fungal infection. Opt for sweat-wicking fabrics.

Do not wear worn-out and ill-fitting shoes; they can cause serious damage to muscles, tissues, bones, and joints throughout the body by disturbing the alignment of your feet.

Your shoes should be a proper fit. Avoid shoes that are too tight and also do not buy shoes that are too loose as they may cause shear related friction injuries.

7. Do Cross Training

Do Cross Training
Source: Women’s Health

It helps condition the entire body, not just specific muscle groups, and helps reduce the risk of injury.

We tend to do same exercises day in and day out ignoring certain components of fitness which are also important for good overall health and to avoid injuries.

Cross training will help you maintain your aerobic fitness while reducing the amount of weight-bearing exercises thus reducing stress on weight-bearing joints, muscles, and tendons.

Include one to two sessions per week of activities like cycling, swimming, yoga, etc. You can also enjoy different sports of your choice in these two sessions, which will also freshen you up mentally

8. Eat A Balanced Diet And Hydrate Well

Eat A Balanced Diet And Hydrate Well
Source: SleepScore

Nutrition helps you recover from intense exercise by replenishing your energy stores and by providing necessary protein and water.

Training without enough nutrition can cause loss of muscle mass and muscle injury & also cause fatigue. Proper nutrition will help you manufacture new muscle protein, red blood cells, and other necessary components as part of the repair and adaptation process.

Nutrition helps to build up an immune system which helps to handle the damage and challenges caused by the exercises.

Water is necessary to transport nutrients and to maintain adequate blood volume in your body. Water is the body’s cooling system.

Effects Of Dehydration

  • Impairs your body’s ability to regulate heat,
  • Impairsbody’s ability to utilize oxygen efficiently,
  • Affects muscles and joints – as water helps keep the joints lubricated and maintains blood flow to muscles.
  • Weakens your mental function too.
  • Causes difficulties in concentrating.
  • Reduces your physical work capacity,
  • Loss of appetite,
  • Causes dry mouth,
  • Headache, impatience, and sleepiness.

If there is extreme fluid loss, your body will collapse during exercise. Thus, to avoid all these problems, replace the fluid and electrolytes lost in sweat.

9. Respect The Rest Day Of The Week

Respect The Rest Day Of The Week
Source: Welldoing

“I hate rest day

Say no more!!”

Rest days give time to rebuild your body tissues, helps with psychological recovery and recharges you for your next hard work out.

Adequate recovery is necessary for you if you want to benefit fully from training and prevent injuries from occurring. Remember guys ‘Rest day is as important as your workout day’

Thus, the take-home message would be to exercise with the proper guidance of doctors and trainers with a tailored plan for yourself. Do a proper warm up & cool down, enjoy the rest day and your nutritious diet, and workout with proper gym shoes and clothes. Oh and yes don’t forget your gym bottle.

Stay informed…stay fit…and avoid gym injuries.

Wish you happy injuryfree workouts…

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