Keeping Your Body Safe During Exercise
You clearly don’t need to be told that exercise is good for you. There are so many benefits that we don’t need to mention them here, but on the flip side, it’s good to know that exercise is only good when you’re doing it right. If you get yourself into bad habits, or try things out incorrectly, you can actually do yourself significant harm, wasting all the effort you’ve put in. There’s a reason that gyms will insist you have an induction before you start working out there – they want to avoid potentially expensive claims like these, which can arise from improper exercise. Let’s take a look at some of the things you should be doing to avoid injury.
You’re probably well aware that you’re supposed to warm up and warm down before and after exercise. This really isn’t a guideline – it’s a rule if you want the best chance of not damaging your muscles. Starting out very suddenly when your muscles aren’t prepared is how they can become pulled or at worst torn. Footballers warming up on the side lines is a prime example of this – they don’t want to run on and immediately have to drop out from pulling a hamstring. Ten minutes either side of more strenuous exercise is about right. The jury is out however on the effectiveness of stretching.
Form can be very important indeed, depending on what you’re doing. If you’re lifting weights for example, it’s very, very important that you learn the right posture and method of lifting. If you don’t you might be putting strain on parts of your body that are not equipped to deal with it. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that you can check out if you’re unsure if what you’re doing is right – just stand in front of a mirror to match up what you’re doing.
It’s worth noting before we finish that listening (or feeling) what your body is telling you is the best way to stay safe. Aches that eventually go away 12-24 hours after exercise are perfectly fine, but sudden sharp pains as you’re exercising are not. If you feel something hurt suddenly, then stop to avoid injury.
Bear these simple things in mind the next time you choose to exercise, and you can be sure that you’re being safe and responsible. In addition to preventing injury, better form and warming up will ensure you can exercise better for longer, improving your fitness even further.