How to Prevent Injury While Exercising
Exercise plays a vital role in staying pain-free and healthy, but it can also lead to pain and injury if overdone or done wrong. While we love that families have used BC® Powder for generations to relieve pain, we also would like to help you prevent pain in the first place.
Whether you exercise at home or the gym, here are some tips you can use to help prevent injury during exercise.
Ask questions when starting something new.
If you’re choosing a new machine at the gym or starting a new exercise routine such as spin class or working out with kettle bells at home, find out what to expect, what the risks are and how to exercise using proper form before you begin. Talk to staff at the gym, the leader of the spin class or a personal trainer. Searching online for information and videos about the exercise can also help. The more prepared and informed you are, the less chance of injury.
Fuel your body before and after a workout.
Having water accessible during your workout is important. It’s even more important to fuel and hydrate your body before you exercise. Carbohydrates can give you energy before you workout, and eating protein after can help repair muscles you just pushed to their limit. Talk to a personal trainer or nutritionist to understand what foods to eat and when to eat them. Having the proper energy for your workouts helps you keep proper form and prevent injury.
Warm up properly before you exercise, cool down after.
Cold or tight muscles are more prone to injury. A brief warm-up before you exercise gets blood moving through your heart and muscles and helps you mentally focus for the task ahead. Talk to your trainer or consult fitness magazines for the best ways to warm up. Walking, jogging or dynamic stretching may be part of the warm-up plan recommended for you. Walking or stretching afterward is just as important to ease your heart and muscles back into a more restful state.
Ease into new exercise.
Whether you’re starting to exercise after a long period away or trying out a new routine or machine, start slow. It’s better to underdo than overdo your workout. For example, for your first time on an elliptical machine, you may want to stay on for only 10 minutes or less. This gives you an idea of how the machine works and how your body feels afterward. A trainer at the gym can help you decide what’s best for you. Or let’s say you want to run a 5k charity run. Your first practice run should not be 5k (or 3.2 miles). It should be a shorter, more manageable distance and then you build up to your target distance over time.
Vary your exercise routine to strengthen your whole body.
Maybe you love to run or walking on the treadmill is your thing. That’s great for your legs and your heart, but what about the rest of your body? Strengthening your core—abdomen and lower back muscles—will help you run and walk in proper form for longer time periods. Doing the same thing and using the same muscle groups over and over can lead to overuse and repetitive-use injuries. Just like balance is the key to a happy life, balance in your exercise routine is key to preventing injury.
You can do everything right and still get injured, but following these tips and other exercise best practices can help you prevent common injuries. Before starting any new exercise program, please check with your doctor first to make sure you don’t have any underlying health issues that would put you at risk. If you do find yourself in pain, you can always rely on BC® Powder to help you feel better fast.