Working out can be an effective way to maintain overall health, but it can lead to injury if not done correctly. Proper form and technique are essential when exercising. From using the right equipment to understanding what your body is capable of, there are a few tips you need to know to exercise safely and prevent injury.
Warm Up and Cool Down Properly
Before a workout, do some light stretching for about five minutes. This helps prepare your body for physical activity by increasing blood flow, loosening muscles, and increasing your heart rate. After a workout, take approximately five minutes to cool down with more stretching or cardio exercises like walking or jogging. Doing this will reduce muscle soreness and improve flexibility.
Know Your Limits
Pushing yourself too hard during a workout may be tempting, but this can result in injury or even burnout if not done carefully. You must understand your capabilities and limitations, and how much strain specific exercises put on your body so you don’t overexert yourself. If something doesn’t feel right or an exercise causes pain, stop immediately and adjust accordingly.
It is also helpful to set realistic goals for yourself based on the amount of time you can commit each day/week and any existing health conditions that may affect your performance or range of motion. Start small and work your way up slowly; don’t try TOO much too soon!
Use the Right Equipment
Make sure you have the right equipment for whatever type of exercise you plan on doing - this could include weights, resistance bands, yoga mats, etc... and use them correctly to get the most out of your workouts without injuring yourself. It is also essential that these items are kept clean and stored correctly when not in use (ideally covered away from sunlight) to maximize their lifespan.