Preventing Injury while Exercising
Leading an active lifestyle is a key part of staying mobile and independent as you get older. It’s also been shown to help prevent high-blood pressure, certain cancers, and diabetes, as well as being great for your mental health.
There’s no denying that exercising is good for you. However, it’s important to remember some key tactics to help you avoid injuries while you’re working out.
Below, we look at things you can do before, during, and after exercise to ensure you get the most out of your routine without hurting yourself.
If you haven’t exercised in a while, it’s important to ease into it. Try starting out with regular walks and gradually work up to more vigorous activity.
Get the proper equipment
Many activities don’t require a lot of equipment, however at a minimum you should have comfortable, stretchy clothes that let you move easily and which you won’t trip over.
It’s also important to have proper running shoes that support your arches, as the repetitive impact caused by many activities can damage your joints and feet.
Thick exercise mats are also advised as they cushion the floor as well as making it less likely you’ll slip on carpets and unsecured rugs. And when you’re deciding where to place your mat, make sure there’s space above and around it, so you don’t trip or hit anything.
If you’ve injured your knee or are experiencing knee pain, a knee brace might also allow you to exercise more comfortably. If you have any injuries, it’s important you talk to your doctor first about which exercises are right for you.
Warm up properly
Before you start working out, you must prepare your body by getting your heart rate up. Dynamic stretching (stretching while moving) is good because it loosens up your muscles while warming up your body. Some examples include walking lunges, arms circles, and hip circles.
Pay attention to form
Making sure you’re doing your chosen exercise correctly is much more important than going faster or lifting more weight. If you’re not sure you’re doing it right, try going to a class or booking a session with a personal trainer. If you’re not able to attend in person, virtual classes are also a good choice, although be aware that the trainer will be able to explain the form but not correct yours.
Once you’ve finished your routine, do static stretches to loosen the muscles you’ve just been tensing and bring down your heart rate. These stretches should be held a decent amount of time so you can work on your flexibility while you cool down.
Rest between sessions
As we get older, our bodies take longer to recover, so be sure to give yourself time to rest between sessions. This is especially true of high-intensity activity such as weight training, which shouldn’t be done two days in a row.
Physical activity is a great way to maintain your independence and your overall health, and just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you should stop moving – quite the opposite! If you follow this advice and listen to your body, you’ll be able to continue being active for years to come!