Exercising often has wide-ranging physical, emotional, and social health benefits. It’s important to do your best to exercise safely to remain healthy and free from injury.
Safety is about using common sense, basic understanding of techniques, and listening to your body.
Here are some tips you can use to stay safe and injury-free:
- Warm-up and cool down. Try slow stretching and go through motions of your sport or activity before the start. After you have completed your workout cool down and complete your stretches.
- Do it right. Try to get the correct technique from the start to ensure you are using your muscles correctly e.g. if you are going to start doing bench press don’t try to go heavy to fast. Correct technique is far better than lifting a weight that sounds good to your mates.
- Be aware of your body. Think about how a particular exercise is making you feel. If something does not feel right, stop immediately, its your bodys way of telling you that you shouldn’t be doing it or you may be doing it slightly wrong.
- Pace yourself. Have at least one recovery day every week to rest. If you are experiencing some pain, rest until the pain subsides or work on a different muscle group.
- Mix it up. Try other sports and exercises to lower the risk of overtraining. It’s always good to mix your training program up every 3-4 weeks anyway as it helps to avoid the dreaded plateau.
- Strap or tape. If your joint is prone to injury, consider strapping it or taping before exercising. Even better, consult exercise physiologists or physiotherapists to obtain a program to strengthen the injured area and get advice on proper taping techniques.
- Stay hydrated. You can lose approximately one and a half liters of fluid for every hour of exercise, so drink water before, during, and after a session.