For people who love working out, exercising is a reprieve from the daily grind of life. It’s what you look forward to, it’s what you use to reward yourself and it’s what you love!
That’s why training/sports injuries are so painful. It isn’t the physical pain that gets you down in the dumps; it’s the fact that you can’t work out when you’re injured.
Training and sports injuries leave even the most optimistic people with the blues, but you don’t have to let training injuries get you down.
Even if you have to change up your routine, there are ways to work around a training injury. And, there are means — diet and rest — of recovering quicker as well, but, the best way to avoid the pain of a training injury is to not get injured in the first place.
The following are tips on how to prevent sports injuries so you can continue doing what you love day after day, month after month, and year after year!
Preventing training and sports injuries
There are 5 ways to prevent training injuries. Follow these preventative measures and you can rest assured you’re doing all you can to prevent an injury from stopping your workout routine.
1. Use good equipment and gear
First, make certain you have the right equipment. If you play a sport to get your exercise, for example, make certain you have the right shoes so you don’t roll an ankle or injure your knee. Additionally, if you have a history of injuries, protect the muscles and joints you’ve injured in the past.
Do you get high ankle sprains and pulled calves? Use a calf compression sleeve.
2. Stretch religiously
The second best way to prevent a training/sports injury is through stretching.
There is a difference between limbering up and stretching. Stretching is committing 10 or 15 minutes — or more — to get your muscles flexible for the exertion they’re about to experience.
Stretch every muscle from head to toe, including those you don’t believe you’ll ever pull. That includes the muscles in your feet, those in your hands, your neck, and your pelvis. Most importantly, however, stretch your large muscle groups. In particular, make certain to get your legs, back — especially your lower back, — and your chest lose before you begin working out.
As important as how well you stretch is how prudent you are when you work out.
3. Don’t over-exert yourself
Most injuries are the result of over-stressing your muscles and ligaments. While stretching properly can prevent ligament and tendon sprains and muscle pulls, if you push yourself too hard, you’re far more likely to injure yourself.
As such, lift a manageable amount of weight. Run a reasonable distance. Play soccer, basketball, tennis, football, etc., for a reasonable amount of time. Your body will become exhausted far quicker than your mind will, so it is imperative that you force yourself to listen to your body — to feel it — so that you know when you’ve pushed fitness yourself far enough.
4. Eat Right
Eating right prevents muscle fatigue and muscle fatigue is the primary culprit behind training injuries. It is not uncommon for us to believe that since we lifted a certain weight or ran a certain distance last week; we should be able to do the same this week. Under ideal conditions, that is true.
But, if your diet is good one week and poor the next, your muscles will fatigue more quickly. That means that you can’t lift as much or run as far or play as long on weeks your diet suffers.
Maintain a healthy diet whenever you are training hard!
5. Get plenty of rest
Your muscles recover — repair themselves — while you sleep. So, the harder you work out, the more rest you need! While the average person needs around eight hours of sleep, if you are training hard, you may need more. That does not mean, however, that you need more sleep at night. Getting additional rest can mean taking an afternoon or evening nap.
If you love your life as a fitness fanatic, make certain you are taking every precaution to prevent training/sports injuries!
Wear the right equipment; stretch well, don’t over-exert yourself, eat right and get plenty of rest!