4 Ways to Avoid Exercise-Related Injuries

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Avoiding Exercise Injury

Exercising is an extremely important component in staying healthy, happy, and fit. Regular physical activity prevents health problems, improves immune system response, strengthens your body, and even improves your mood. If you are an exercise enthusiast or just beginning your journey towards a healthier lifestyle, then it is important that you do so in a way that is safe and productive towards your health. Improper, strenuous, or excessive exercise can lead to injury. These injuries can cause great amounts of pain, discomfort, and other problems in your life. Luckily, you can take steps to ensure that you are not harming your body while you work out. Below are just a handful of ways to prevent unnecessary body pain:

1)      Know Your Limits

Exercise requires being realistic about your fitness or weight loss goals, which encompasses having a firm grasp of that fact that your body does have limits and what those limits are. Fitness is something that needs to be gradually worked towards, not that can be instantly attained. When staring out on a new goal or objective, start slow and easy and then progressively work your way up to more challenging activities. For example, if you decide to take up jogging then you shouldn’t start with a 10km run. Start with 3km, move on to 4km, and continue to work your way up to further and further distances as your fitness improves. Likewise, weight lifting requires the gradual buildup of muscle strength, and jumping the gun on advancements can lead to strain and injury.

2)      Warm Up

Your body needs time to adjust and prepare for any rigorous physical activity. Before you get into the central component of your workout you should do some light exercise to prepare your muscles and joints. For instance, if you plan on going for a long jog your legs need to be ready to go. Start by going for a walk and then gradually pick up the pace until you’re carried into a light jog. From that point on you can move up to your regular pace and continue on your route. If you are doing weight training, then it is a good idea to loosen up muscles beforehand with some light cardio. By doing some jogging before you lift you give the muscles the opportunity to relax, release tension, and get the oxygen flow required for activity.

3)      Stretch

Stretching is extremely important after a workout because it relieves tension in the muscles that have exerted energy. Stretching should be aimed at the muscles that you intend to focus on, but also on the surrounding areas. Since the body is a very complex and integrated piece of biological machinery, there is always more than one muscle going into any exercise; recall the children’s song emphasizing that the leg bone is connected to the hip bone – this applies to muscles as well. Stretching after a workout promotes relaxation in muscles and prevents the buildup of lactic acid, which is the substance responsible for stiffness in the days following exercise.

4)      Consult a Professional

One of the leading causes of exercise-related injuries is improper technique. Doing repetitive motions incorrectly can put strain on parts of the body, eventually leading to injury. A trained personal trainer can help you make sure that you are proceeding safely with your fitness goals and not putting yourself at risk.

In Case of Injury

In the instance that you do experience an injury, it is important to temporarily halt strenuous exercise and consult a medical professional as they will be able to give you the best advice on recovery. A skilled chiropractor is especially good for facing any sudden back, neck, ankle, knee, shoulder, or joint pain that you may be experiencing. Additionally, massage therapy has been proven to promote healing in the muscles of the body and can be a strong tool both in injury prevention and in recovery. Contact Downsview Chiropractic today if you are experiencing any pain and discomfort or if you would like to avoid future pain. We are dedicated to providing quality care in a welcoming atmosphere and look forward to helping you. 

Dr. Joel Weisberg is the Clinic Director and Principal Doctor at Downsview Chiropractic The difference it makes to a patient when they learn, receive appropriate care, feel cared for, and are empowered to self-manage, is often bigger than the relief they were seeking. Dr. Weisberg is driven to make that difference to people in their pursuit of a life lived well™.