Best ways to prevent injuries while working out, this is part 18 in our twenty-part series designed to help you better understand Serious Weight Loss For Women.
Part 1: Mind Body Wellness
Part 2: Secrets to Weight Loss Success
Part 3: High Intensity Interval Training 101
Part 4: Blazing Your Way to Fitness with HIIT
Part 5: Beating the Calories with Wise Dieting
Part 6: The Truth About Crash Diets
Part 7: Shave Off Pounds Without Even Trying
Part 8: Enjoy Healthy Eating…Every Day
Part 9: My Weight Loss Journey
Part 10: Lifestyle and Weight Management
Part 11: Good Health Nutrition
Part 12: Dangers of Sugar
Part 13: Understanding Your Diet
Part 14: Positive Motivation
Part 15: Workout Schedule For Beginners
Part 16: Important Facts About HIIT Training
Part 17: Warm Up and Cool Down Activities For Exercising
Part 18: You are here – Best Ways to Prevent Injuries While Working Out
In part one of my series on workout injury prevention, I covered the importance of preparing before putting your body through the paces of a complete workout. This means warming up and cooling down properly – before your primary workout.
We also stressed the importance of consulting with your family physician before beginning any new diet or exercise program. These prerequisite steps are best ways to prevent injuries while working out. These simple ideas are intended to help protect your body from any injury that could have you sitting on the bench for an extended period. That would be problematic and could potentially result in you losing out on whatever weight loss milestones you might have already achieved.
It’s important to prepare wherever you workout. Pay particular attention when working out at home on your own. Nobody else is there with you so you need to ensure your own safety at all times. This applies to everyone, whether you’re a complete beginner or a seasoned gym rat.
Exercise safety and injury prevention are a priority because any injury is likely to impede your progress and delay the attainment of your weight loss goals.
Should you ever suffer an injury while working out – stop immediately and visit your local hospital emergency department – or your doctor.
Here is a short list of common injuries sustained through exercise:
I. Pulled/Strained Muscle – When a specific muscle is stretched too far the result is a pulled or strained muscle. Typically you’ll experience mild symptoms such as pain to the affected area. But symptoms can also include bruising, swelling and considerable pain – depending on the severity of the injury.
Muscles have a normal range of movement that represents a “safe zone” when they’re stretched. It’s important to pay close attention to your body whenever you lift, pull, push or stretch. If you engage any muscle and feel pain while performing any such movement – stop right away. You’re overdoing it.
Learn to recognize the difference between comfortably challenging your muscle groups and overtaxing them. Safely pushing yourself with moderate challenges doesn’t trigger discomfort or pain. But overdoing it does.
You can witness the difference between the two by lifting a moderately heavy dumbbell and then one that’s noticeably heavier. Overexertion triggers pain. But the other dumbbell challenges your biceps as you lift, bending the arm in an upwards manner. But there’s no real pain since your muscles are still within their safe range.
Treatment: The way to treat a pulled muscle is by applying ice to the area and resting it. If swelling occurs, gently stretching the area can improve blood circulation around the affected muscle. Applying heat can help keep the muscle flexible and less likely to swell.
II. Sprained Ankle – an ankle sprain occurs when you’ve stretched the sensitive ligaments supporting the ankle beyond the limits of their safe zone. This kind of sprain is common in those who do cardio exercises and whole body workouts like lunges while using dumbbells. Ankle sprains can occur by accidentally twisting your foot under your leg while walking, running, or jumping rope.
With an ankle sprain, you’ll feel pain on the outer area of the ankle. It’s also likely that you won’t be able to place much weight on the foot. With more severe ankle sprains, increased pain, swelling and bruising may also be present. Doctors refer to the minor bleeding that can occur with a sprain as “ecchymosis”.
Maintaining proper form during exercise can help you avoid ankle sprains. It’s also helpful to perform movements at a slower pace. Proper footwear with adequate cushioning protects the feet on impact.
When you have an accident and twist your foot, stop what you’re doing immediately and apply ice to the area that hurts. Keep your foot elevated so it improves circulation. If you think you’ve suffered a sprain, cease all leg exercises at once.
III. Shoulder Injuries – We ask a lot of our shoulders and use them all the time. Our shoulders play a key role in all types of upper body workouts, including pushups and dumbbell chest presses. With an injured shoulder, you cannot safely exercise your arms, back, chest or abdominal muscles. So it’s best to wait until those ligaments and muscles have properly healed before continuing to exercise the upper body.
Shoulders are workhorses. But a shoulder injury can really hold you back. An overextended shoulder could damage the shoulder ligaments. Ligaments are the connective tissues between the bones.
One of the best ways to prevent injuries while working out is to not overdo it. If you overextend yourself during exercise and lift excessively heavy weight, you’re setting yourself up for a muscle strain. These types of injuries are not minor. Tiny tears can result from a pulled shoulder muscle. In some cases, surgery may be required to correct it – that is if resting it and applying, ice doesn’t ease symptoms.