Don't Hurt Yourself! Avoid Fitness Related Injuries
We are all guilty of trying to push our bodies
to their maximum potential when we exercise, after all,
‘no pain, no gain,’ right? Everyone needs to learn their
body’s limits and how far you can go without causing an
actual injury while exercising. Recognizing true pain
instead of muscle stress or fatigue is the key to know
when to stop.
The first step is preventative maintenance.
Always start your routine with a gradual warm up. The
warm up period should last between 10 to 15 minutes and
the purpose is to loosen your muscles and slightly
increase your heart rate to prepare your body for your
workout. Typical warm up techniques include slow walking
into a casual jog, jumping rope, riding an exercise bike,
or using a fitness rowing machine. Warming up will also
help prevent pulled or torn muscles.
Now that you have completed your warm up cycle
it is time to stretch. Stretching after your warm up will
help keep muscles flexible, it will increase your range
of motion by lengthening the muscles, and will also help
to prevent joint and muscle injury.
Once you have warmed up and stretched your
muscles it is time to begin your workout. If you are new
to working out, start slowly and never push yourself.
Learn your comfort zones and strength before starting a
Correct form, technique, and posture are
extremely important for avoiding injuries. This is the
next leading cause of pain after improper warm ups and
stretching. Never be afraid to ask questions of others
around you. Seek out gym employees to train you to use
each fitness machine while maintaining proper
After a strenuous exercise routine it is
important to have a cool down period which can be similar
to your warm up period. The purpose is to gradually slow
your heart rate back down over a 10 to 15 minute period.
Once you have cooled down it can often be beneficial to
stretch your muscles once again. Stretching at this point
will help keep your muscles from tightening up after a
Muscle soreness can be normal after a workout,
especially the day after. However, if you ever begin to
experience significant pain during a workout it is
important to stop exercising immediately. If necessary,
seek medical help. Learn to push yourself without