Working out is a great thing to do regardless of your age. From early on, children are exposed to physical education programs to ingrain in them the importance of remaining active. As we grow older, the less carefree we can be when it comes to physical activity because we grow more susceptible to injury. For adults that attend a gym to add muscle, slim down, or improve cardiovascular function, exercising incorrectly can be detrimental to your physical health. Before you go to the gym next, here are four important workout safety tips.!
Warm-Up & Cool Down
It’s important to prepare your body before you put it through a workout regimen. Before you work out, you should warm up the limbs & ligaments that will be trained. For example, if you’re going for a quick walk or a long run, get some gentle movements into your legs (i.e. calves, hamstrings, quads, etc.) Don’t stretch a muscle unless it has been warmed up first! If you’re going to work your upper body, take your limbs through some gentle movements before you do anything else, then stretch the areas that will be most exerted before you lift any weights. Before you finish a workout, gradually decrease the speed of your heart rate, and perform low-exertion exercises.
Overuse of Muscles
Working out far beyond the limit of your capabilities can be dangerous as it may strain vulnerable parts of your body, including your joints, muscles and ligaments. Activities that require the repetitive use of specific muscle groups & joints, including running or even a game like tennis, can take a toll on your body. If you’re looking to get fit or stay physically active, we recommend that you switch up your workout regimen occasionally and don’t overuse the same parts of your body too frequently as inflammation and severe discomfort can make it difficult to remain active. So, mix up those hill sprints with some swimming, cycling, or other activities to reduce overuse of the same joints.
This point is exceptionally pertinent for individuals that go for high intense runs or cardiovascular circuits at the gym. Due to the amount of sweat your body will expel during these circuits, you mustn’t dehydrate your body of necessary fluids. Manage your water intake; try not to gulp large amounts at once – sip on it to prevent cramps.
If you plan on lifting weights (i.e. chest press, dumbbells, shoulder press, etc.), it is necessary that you have a full understanding of proper form and how to attain it. If you are unsure or are just learning, start with no weight or very light weights and practice slowly. Unfortunately, many inexperienced gym-goers try to lift more than they physically can, which compromises their form and puts them at a major risk of bodily injury.
We see many people at our office that have suffered injuries from improper self-care while working out. For more information on how to work out safely, securely and efficiently, contact us today.
Dr. B.J. Hardick is a Doctor of Chiropractic and internationally-recognized natural health author and speaker. His health journey began as a child — alternative medicine is the only medicine he has ever known. In 2009, he authored his first book, Maximized Living Nutrition Plans. In 2018, he authored his second book, Align Your Health. An energizing and passionate speaker, Dr. Hardick shares his lifestyle methods to numerous professional and public audiences every year in the United States and Canada. His teachings encompass the principles of ancestral nutrition, detoxification, functional fitness, mindfulness, and green living.