While finding the time to exercise is important for overall health, making sure you exercise correctly also plays a vital role. Failing to perform exercises correctly, overdoing a training program or don’t allow enough time to recover after training can all lead to injury and have us unable to exercise.
To help you avoid injury, exercise physiologist Caitlin Reid gives you the strategies to overcome the most common workout mistakes.
1. Not warming up or cooling down properly
Warming up before your training session and cooling down are fundamental to any workout program. Muscles need to be warmed up before a hard training session to prepare them for activity, and to help prevent injury and muscle soreness. The warm up also helps to increase you heart and breathing rate. Cooling down after your session on the other hand will help to relax the muscles and prevent stiffness the following day.
2. Incorrect form or technique
Probably one of the most definite ways to get an injury in the gym is to use an incorrect form. Learning the right way to perform an exercise is essential for getting results, especially when you’re going strength training. Incorrectly performing an exercise can set you up for potential injuries, pain and soreness. Before jumping into a program get a trainer or coach to show you the correct technique. It will be worth it in the long run.
3. Too much too soon
Too many of us go through phases with exercise where we go from a fairly sedentary lifestyle to a high-intensity training load. This lasts a couple of days before we realise we’re aching from head to toe and can’t even bend down to tie up our shoelaces. If you haven’t exercised in a while, take it easy and slowly increase your workload. Easing yourself back into exercise will help reduce injury risk, making you more inclined to continue with your training.
4. Not knowing when to stop
Some people push through pains, light-headedness and weakness during exercise. But these are all signs something is wrong and you should stop immediately and not push through. If you won’t feel well, take some time off until your body heals. Listen to your body – it will tell you everything you need to know.
5. Not allowing enough recovery time
Rest and recovery should be included in all training programs. It should not be overlooked, or overtraining syndrome can result. When you work hard you must also rest hard.