Whether you’re a first time gym user or a well-rounded athlete, injury prevention is one of the most overlooked and crucial components of exercise. Without proper preparation and guidance from a fitness professional, injuries are more prone to occur and interfere with your fitness journey. The best part? Injury prevention is something we ALL can do.
For starters, when I have a one-on-one introduction with a new or potential client, I emphasize the following key elements to injury prevention:
- Good sleep is rarely achieved for most people and is often an afterthought. Getting the right amount of restis the best way to help your muscles and joints recover and thus provide better performance. I recommend getting 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night. This allows the body and nervous system to recuperate, and gives the muscles adequate time to grow and recover effectively.
- Warming-up and stretching before and after a workout session can protect your body from injuries like pulling a muscle or throwing out your back. Some good techniques you can do for a good warm-up are: foam rolling, active warm-ups like a brisk walk, assisted stretching with a partner, or massages. Getting the body prepared for a workout and recovering after a workout should be an everyday practice to include in your fitness routine.
- Correct form is not only beneficial to get the best results out of your exercise, it is also imperative for the functional movements we make outside the gym as well. For example, if you regularly lift heavy objects at your job you must use correct form to lift or you might injure your back or shoulders. Proper form and posture aides in the alignment of your body, especially your spine. It’s best to pay attention to how you bend and twist in your daily routines to ensure that you’re keeping good posture and correct form outside of exercising.
Injuries at any stage of your fitness journey can be prevented. Just be patient with yourself and listen to your body. Of course, if you need help ask a YouCoach fitness professional to create a personal training plan for you to alleviate prior injuries, as well as prevent any future injuries that could arise. Our team of certified trainers will make sure you’re never bent out of shape!