Last year was extremely stressful for many of us. With the new year, many are looking forward to starting it right by adopting a new habit – exercising.
Exercise has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to boost mood. It releases feel-good hormones called endorphins.
Aside from its mood-boosting benefit, exercise is also known to help manage the weight better, reduce the risk of heart attack, lower blood pressure, lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers, and promote stronger bones, joints, and muscles which help in lowering the risk of osteoporosis.
However, like many physical activities, exercise also increases your risk of injury. You can prevent them from happening by doing these:
Warm-up and cool down properly
Both warm-up and cool down exercises involve activities that are done at a slower pace and lower intensity. They help improve your athletic performance, prevent injuries, and help you recover from exercises.
Warm-up activities prepare your cardiovascular system for physical activities. By increasing the blood flow to your muscles and raising the temperature of your body, you are adequately preparing your muscles for the movements you are putting on them during your workout.
Cooling down, on the other hand, aims to gradually bring your heart rate and blood pressure to their normal level (prior to working out). It aids in the process of releasing and removing lactic acid, which helps speed up your body’s recovery process.
Cooling down has also been shown to help in alleviating excessive muscle soreness, which may keep you from being comfortable in your next workout.
Plan to start slowly and gradually boost your activity level.
This is one of the most important things to remember especially if you’re new to exercising. Do it slowly, with the goal of building up your fitness level gradually. With this in mind, you also have to remember to give your body a rest from time to time to prevent injuries.
Mix up your activities.
Overdoing a certain exercise increases your risk of injuries. Training certain body parts or muscle groups too often increases your risk of overuse injuries like stress fractures, sore joints and muscles, and inflamed tendons and ligaments. So do a mix of activities and give your body ample time for rest.
Listen to your body.
When you’re feeling sick or very fatigued, it’s important to take a break. Cut back if you cannot finish an exercise or repetition, feel dizzy after an exercise, or suffer persistent pains or aching joints.
Choose your clothes and shoes properly.
Choose your clothes properly for the type of activity you’re doing and for the weather. If you’re working out in the cold, make sure you’re wearing enough protection to prevent hypothermia.
Choosing the right kind of shoes is also important. If you’re using them constantly, make sure you replace them every 6 months as the cushioning wears off.
These are just some of the things that you can do to keep yourself safe while exercising.
If even with these safety practices, you end up getting injured, our doctors at Ozark Orthopaedics can help. For appointments, you can call us at (479) 521-2752.