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Working out can be fun, but it is a lifestyle choice that requires constant determination, perseverance, and willpower for many. While plenty of fitness enthusiasts understand the importance of healthy exercise without pushing past their limits, others might take it too far and injure themselves. Fortunately, here are some of the top ways to prevent gym injuries, so you don’t make the same mistake before your next training session.
Stretching is a crucial form of injury prevention that many gymgoers neglect. To some, stretching could overextend muscle fibers past their range and actually lead to injuries faster. While that’s a valid fear, it’s also related to those who overstretch or exert too much tension on their muscles while stretching. A great way to reduce injury is to do some light stretches of each muscle for a couple of minutes, either before or after your workout. Doing so also helps improve your flexibility and range of motion.
Use Proper Form
Perhaps one of the fastest ways people get injured while exercising due to improper form. This means their bodies are not aligned with the machine or free weights in a healthy position. Anyone new to exercising must learn the basic forms of those movements. You can seek the help of a personal trainer or a coach at the gym, or you can look online for training articles or videos. Either way, you must also listen to your body. If your body hurts or feels off in some way while exercising, stop and determine the cause. This could be your body’s way of saying you’re using improper technique.
Rest and Recovery
While the thought of going to the gym or pushing through a great workout motivates many people, one of the top ways to prevent gym injuries is through proper rest and recovery. Rest days are crucial for longevity. Intense muscle training leads to soreness or other body aches, so it’s important you know how to have a speedy recovery. One way to reach this is through rest days. A rest day means a day off in between training days. Some people incorporate one, two, or three rest days into their training cycle. While you should prioritize your training sessions, it’s also important you find the balance between rest and exercise, so determine how long you need for efficient recovery and implement rest periods into your routine.
Eat Right and Stay Hydrated
Lastly, many people might not realize that proper nutrition and hydration also play pivotal roles in the recovery process. Caloric intake strongly relates to fitness goals, especially for those on a diet. Switching up your calorie intake every so often or allowing a cheat meal once or twice during the week can further speed up your recovery process, providing both physical and mental benefits. Cheat foods, or even just additional calories, can satisfy you physically, in addition to being a well-deserved treat after a week of tough training sessions.