Starting a new exercise routine can help with maintaining your motivation, but avoiding injuries is important. Here’s an easy guide to help you!
by Troop Atomic Mommy
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If you are starting your journey to better health and fitness, it is essential to be aware of the potential for injury. Unfortunately, many people who embark on new exercise routines may need to be fully aware of the risks that come with it. That’s why we put together this quick guide to help you look at how injuries can occur when starting a new exercise routine and how you can avoid them.
Starting Too Quickly
One of the most common causes of injury when beginning a new exercise routine is starting too quickly or doing too much at once. This is especially true for those who have been inactive for an extended period and then jump into intense workouts immediately. It is essential to ease into any new activity slowly and gradually increase the intensity over time. This will allow your body time to adjust to the increased physical demands being placed on it and reduce the likelihood of injury.
Lack of Warm Up
Another common mistake those just starting their fitness journey make is not paying attention to warm-up exercises before engaging in more intense activities such as running or weight training. Warming up prepares your body for exercise by increasing blood flow and loosening muscles, which can help reduce the risk of injury by helping you move more efficiently during your workout session. In addition, warm-ups should include dynamic stretches that target the muscles used during the activity; for example, if you plan on running, make sure to do some dynamic hamstring stretches before heading out.
When engaging in any physical activity, it is crucial to practice good form to reduce the risk of injury. A bad form can increase your chances of injury and decrease performance due to inefficient movement patterns. Make sure you research proper form before attempting new exercises and consult a qualified professional. Additionally, equipment such as lifting straps or gloves can help ensure proper technique while providing extra support and stability during your workout sessions.
The Wrong Gear
When starting a new exercise routine, it is important to ensure you have the right gear. The wrong shoes, clothing, or equipment can lead to injury and soreness that will prevent you from continuing your routine. Investing in quality, comfortable clothing and supportive footwear appropriate for your exercise type is essential. Improperly fitted shoes can cause bunions, blisters, and ankle strain over time. Healthy Steps creates custom orthotics that can help you avoid foot or ankle injuries or help you with existing injuries. Wearing the right clothes for running can also help reduce chafing and other skin irritations, which can be painful and distracting when trying to stay on track with a workout regimen.
Taking Off Days
Taking days off from your routine is just as important as the actual workout. This allows your muscles and joints to rest, recover, and rebuild after a strenuous session. When starting a new exercise program, it’s important not to overdo it initially. Overdoing it can increase your risk of injury due to fatigue and exhaustion. Aiming for 3-4 non-consecutive days of exercising per week is an excellent place to start when trying to stay injury free while still seeing gains in fitness.
Neglecting To Cool-Down
Cooling down is an important part of any exercise routine as it helps to reduce muscle soreness and prevent post-exercise fainting. After a strenuous workout, engaging in some light activity, such as walking for 5 minutes or stretching for 10-15 minutes, is essential. This will help your body transition from intense activity to a state of relaxation, which aids in injury prevention.
Not Adjusting To Your Fitness Level
Someone who is just starting their exercise routine must adjust the intensity and length of their workouts accordingly. Jumping into more strenuous exercises before your body has had time to build up its stamina can lead to over-exertion, which can cause pain, swelling, and in severe cases, even fractures. Instead, take your time building up your fitness level and increase the difficulty of exercises as you become stronger and more conditioned.
Poor Nutrition and Dehydration
Nutrition and hydration are key components to staying injury-free when starting a new exercise routine. Eating healthy, well-balanced meals before and after working out will give your body the necessary energy to push through a workout session. Staying properly hydrated during a workout is also essential, reducing fatigue and preventing cramping.
Injuries can occur when starting an exercise routine if caution is not taken beforehand. By gradually easing into new activities, warming up properly before exercising, and maintaining proper form while working out, you can drastically reduce your risk of getting injured while still reaping all the benefits that come with exercise! Now that you know more about staying safe while exercising, get out there and work towards achieving your fitness goals!