Exercise can be great for your body and mind, but overdoing it when you're just starting out can cause unnecessary strain and lead to injuries. Here are some tips on increasing your fitness while preventing injuries.
One Step at a Time
When setting a new exercise goal, it can be tempting to jump to meet your goal right away. However, you can cause yourself more injuries by changing your activity level too quickly. A good rule of thumb is to include at least one day of rest in your workout schedule.
Another way that beginners can get injured is by focusing on one muscle group and excluding others. But if one group of muscles is much stronger than another, it can place strain on the weaker muscle group and lead to tears or sprains. Train all of your muscles at the same time by cross training. For instance, if you are primarily a runner, counteract the lower body workout with some core and arm strengthening exercises.
Get Specialized Care
Before you start a higher level of physical activity, talk to a doctor about how to protect your health. A sports medicine professional can give you guidance on how to stay healthy and counteract any side effects of increased exercise.
If you have had any injuries in the past, such as a sprains, heart conditions, or asthma, it's especially important to consult your doctor. Past injuries can flare up during a new exercise routine, and you need to make sure that you're not placing undue strain on yourself.
Take Your Fitness to the Next Level
If you are joining a group exercise activity, such as a team sport or a hiking club, you can prepare by getting in good shape before you begin the new activity. In other words, get in better shape than you need to be for the activity. You won't place undue pressure on yourself or feel peer pressured to exercise more than you're able to, which are prime conditions for injury. Talk with people in your organization and try to assess the fitness levels of the other participants, then reach that level or higher before you dive into the new activity.
As you begin to advance in your physical fitness, the above tips will continue to be important for protecting your physical health. Many injuries can be prevented simply by pacing yourself and taking steps to counteract the stress of exercise on your body.Share
17 June 2015
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