Hello divas! I hope that your week has gotten off to a fantastic start. Mine has been pretty good so far. I have a couple of weeks left before my first half marathon of the year so I have been training for the race. Today I want to talk about something that everyone who works out regularly has to deal with from time to time – injuries. We’ve all had them. I know for the longest time I had to deal with plantar fasciitis, making it really hard to train for my races. But there are ways to prevent them from happening in the first place. So check out these 7 simple rules to prevent injuries when working out.
Know your limits. The first thing you need to know is what your limits are. They will change for sure as you get into a program, but you need to always keep in mind what they are. You won’t be going out on the first day and running 10 miles. Or be bench pressing 20 lbs. on day 1. You have to realize that you have to start small and slow and work your way up. Overtraining and going too fast or doing too much at first will only lead to sprain, strains and sometimes worse.
Use proper form. Related to knowing your limits is being sure you are using proper form when you do an exercise. This will keep your body running efficiently and prevent you from pulling something. When I first started strength training, a lot of my aches and pains were related to the fact that I wasn’t performing the exercises the way they were supposed to be done. It is much better to go slow and make sure the exercise is done correctly than to try to go fast or heavy with improper form.
Warm up and cool down. I cannot stress enough the importance of warming up and cooling down before and after you workout. The muscles need a chance to warm up before you get to the nitty gritty of your workouts. And they need to stretch out afterwards so that they don’t tighten up. This is why I ended up with plantar fasciitis to begin with – not stretching and strengthening my calves, achilles and feet after a run. Now it is something I never miss.
Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Staying hydrated is essential when working out (see how to drink more water). It helps keep everything moving and functioning as it should. Not hydrating can slow you down and leave you fatigued and worse. Also, water can help with the recovery process so your body can bounce back and be stronger after the workouts are over.
Variety is the spice of life. Doing the same thing over and over can lead to overtraining, fatigue and injury. No matter what activity you participate in, everyone needs to cross train. If you are a runner, add some yoga and strength training. If you are a lifter, make sure you also have some sort of cardio in your week. This will keep things fun, interesting and you won’t be working the same muscle groups over and over. I love being able to mix programs at home to make a hybrid workout regimen to hit all the major muscle groups (Beachbody On Demand is fabulous for this).
Eat properly. You can only do so much working out if you are not combining it with proper nutrition. Eating a mostly clean diet will help make sure you are getting the proper vitamins and nutrients your body needs to function. Also, ensuring you get enough of the macronutrients (protein, carbs, fats) to fuel your body during your workouts and repair after the workouts will help keep you from getting hurt. I love my daily Shakeology shake because it gives me so many of my daily vitamins and nutrients (I don’t even take a multi vitamin anymore).
Listen to your body. Lastly, the most important thing you can do is to listen to your body. You know better than anyone how much you can handle. Make sure you add a rest day into your regimen – your body NEEDS time to recover. Modify when necessary and don’t force yourself to go beyond those limits.
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