Avoid Workout Injuries: Top 10 Tips
By Joseph Kuchinski, DO, FACOEP-D, Medical Director, Stamford Health Urgent Care
Do you have your summer exercise routine down pat? Great! While we all want to see and feel the fruits of our labor, it’s also important not to rush. Injuries from exercise can be more common than we think. But the good news is they’re relatively easy to avoid. Keep the following 10 tips in mind:
1. Warm up and cool down properly. All it takes is a quick 5–10 minutes. Don’t forget—stretching is just as important when you cool down as when you warm up.
2. Start slowly and increase gradually. After all, no one wants to be placed on the “injured list” early on!
3. Mix up your activities to avoid overuse injuries.
4. Listen to your body. Always, always allow for proper rest and recovery.
5. Kick it down a notch if your exercise schedule is interrupted for a period of time. This will allow you to gradually work back to where you left off.
6. Choose clothes and shoes designed for your type of activity.
7. Stay hydrated with water especially. Doing so is important in all types of weather and also during your recovery from exercise. As an option, look for water brands with electrolytes that don’t contain sugar or artificial sweeteners.
8. Maintain good form in any exercise you’re doing, especially weight lifting. Do not abandon form to “finish a set” because you’re strapped for time.
9. Watch the heat and humidity. If you are feeling dizzy, nauseous, faint, or are experiencing cramps or palpitations, then rest. Adjust your activity time or take it indoors if possible.
10. Dress properly and in layers to prepare for temperature extremities.
Delayed muscle soreness that starts 12-24 hours after a workout and gradually subsides is a normal response to exercising your muscles. However, if you have persistent or intense muscle pain that starts during a workout or right afterward, or muscle soreness that lasts more than 1-2 weeks, call your doctor or seek evaluation by a healthcare provider.