Why It Matters
Being injured prevents training and can lead to setbacks.
Most sports injuries are from overuse and can become chronic. Although it can seem like injuries are a part and parcel of working out regularly, most are preventable. If you’re keen to train, but don’t want to have to worry about injury set-backs, check out these five common causes of injury and avoid, avoid, avoid.
1. You're pushing too hard.
Don’t increase workout intensity too much too quickly, and make sure you know your limits. You should always feel in control. If you’re running, don’t add more than 10% per week in time or distance - if you're weight training, increase weights gradually, at a consistent pace.
2. You're not warming up properly.
Kicking things off at 100% effort will lead to burn out and muscle injury. Start off with some static stretching, and build up to gentle movements, to keep your muscles flexible and prevent strains. Not only will your body be gradually alerted to the change of state and respond accordingly, but you'll be able to go for much longer.
3. You're wearing the wrong gear.
Wear good shoes - not just ones that look good. Chose ones that suit your needs and that can give you some support and protection. Ask in a sports shop for help if you aren’t sure.
4. You're not giving yourself a proper recovery.
Always end exercise with some warm down stretches, and take rest days to give yourself time to fully recover. Rest allows your muscles to build so you can keep working hard. Your muscles are supposed to be sore after a workout, and it's okay to work out again when they feel like this - but don't overdo it. If something feels wrong, lay off until you have properly recovered. Use a foam roller on sore or tight muscles.
Support your recovery with the right nutrition - get plenty of protein, and ensure you're hitting your daily recommendations of vitamins. Check out The Recover Capsules to ensure you're getting the minerals and vitamins needed for healthy recovery.
5. You're not mixing it up.
Vary your training. Incorporate strength training as well as cardio into your workout routine. Adding two resistance sessions per week can help to increase strength and prevent injuries. Weight training is also a great way to tone and burn fat. Work out on different surfaces like on the grass as well as in the gym, and do lots of different exercises. It’ll keep your muscles challenged, but prevent you from over-working any.