Keeping fit is important no matter what age you are. It helps keep our body young and fighting fit for longer. However, some of us are more subject to injury if we don’t look after our body before, during and after exercise. Injuries can also hold us back from reaching our fitness goals so how can you stay fit while avoiding injuries?
Drink More Water
Water is essential for our body because after all, we’re mostly made up of it. So we should really be drinking plenty of water a day, 1.5 liters to be exact. When exercising, however, you lose more water in the body quickly. So to avoid passing out or becoming dehydrated, you need to be drinking plenty of water both during exercise and after. Even after you’ve finished exercising, your body is still working up until a few hours later.
Take a big bottle of water with you every time you go to the gym or to whatever sport you take part in. Not bringing water will mean you’ll struggle more without and you’ll likely perform worse which can make you feel demotivated to continue.
Warm Up Before
A lot of injuries are usually caused by the individual not warming up properly. It’s essential to stretch the muscles you’ll be using when exercising to avoid damaging them in any way. Increasing your body’s core temperature is going to get the blood pumping and getting you mentally prepared for working out. Your warm-up should take at least six minutes and here are a few ways you can warm the body up:
- March on the spot for three minutes with your legs lifting up to your stomach and your arms marching up to your shoulders.
- Dig your heel into the ground and lean slightly onto it. You should feel a pull on the back of your leg. Do this for both legs.
- Lift knee up to your chest and hold for 15 seconds each.
- Roll your shoulders forward and back. Gently roll your head from left to right.
Cool Down After
And as important as it is to warm up, it’s also just as critical to cool down after. Not cooling down means that you’re much more likely to risk an injury. A few ways of cooling down properly include:
- A low-intensity exercise that lasts three to five minutes. Focus on your breathing to help bring down the heart rate.
- Stretch the muscles that you’ve used while exercising. Do this for 20-30 seconds on each one and spend any extra time on muscles that feel tight to make sure it’s properly stretched out.
You may also consider getting yourself a massage every so often. Those with a sports massage accreditation UK are best for tackling the muscles when you’ve been exercising as opposed to a traditional massage.
There’s now so much junk food around us that the temptation to eat badly can sometimes be overwhelming. However, the wrong foods can affect our performance when exercising and may lack the nutrients our body needs to stay fit and well, health-wise. So it’s important to eat well and to regulate the ratio of good and bad foods we put in our body. Avoid having takeouts or processed food in the form of ready meals. Sure they’re easy to cook, but they’ll be higher in sugar, salt and everything else your body doesn’t need in such high doses. Opt for lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and think about protein bars while working out so that you get the most from the exercise.
Wear The Right Attire
Fitness fashion is something that’s become pretty popular within the fashion industry. And while it looks stylish, some of it is likely to be impractical for actually exercising. So invest in the right attire, depending on the type of exercise you do. Proper trainers for running while avoiding shin splints and other leg injuries and breathable fabrics are great to let the body sweat at a normal rate. Heavy fabrics that suffocate the skin are going to make exercising more uncomfortable and will clog up your pores which can cause breakouts.
Consider Type Of Exercise
The type of exercise matters to your body because some of us may be able to do swimming, while others find weight training more enjoyable. Motivating yourself to exercise is often difficult enough, so go with something that you enjoy doing yourself and not just because someone else you know is doing the same thing and loving it. We’re all different, that is what makes us interesting! You can also fall out of love with a certain type of exercise so don’t be afraid to try something different if your passion for that one changes.
Cross training is something that can help avoid injury too. This means doing something different each day so that your body isn’t overworking the same muscles constantly. Create a routine where one day you opt for cardio, the next you work in arms and the day after you work on the legs. Make sure you take a rest day so that the body can recover properly.
Get A Personal Trainer
Motivating yourself to get out of bed early to go running or to trek across to the gym after work can feel almost impossible. Therefore, it may be worth considering an extra helping hand in the form of a personal trainer. Personal trainers are a great motivator as a reason to get to the gym or a space because you’ve committed to an appointment and then you’ll not only be letting yourself down but the PT if you fail to show up. Personal trainers can cost a lot of money, especially if you live in the city so you should really consider this if you find it impossible to motivate yourself at the gym or you find it more beneficial having someone by your side spurring you on to finish the exercises. Make sure that if you’re going to look for a PT, that they are offering the training that you require. It’s not going to be as useful if you’re wanting to train for a marathon and the PT you pick is someone that specialises in boxing.
Know Your Trouble Areas
As we get older, our body does tend to find things a lot harder, and we can often have one or two ‘trouble areas’ on our body where if you were to overwork yourself, it could be more likely to cause injury. Weak ankles or wrists are often common so tailor your exercise to avoid these problem spots so that you can workout without risking unnecessary injury to yourself.
Listen To Your Body
Rest days are essential to help your body to recover and repair because if you’re over-exerting your body all the time, the likelihood of you injuring yourself is going to be high. Only you know how much your body can take so listen to it and if you need extra rest or you feel like you can push yourself a little further, do it. Often enough, we can ignore the obvious signs when our body is under stress.
You don’t need to rush when it comes to exercising. Building it up as a habit can take time, and it’s important to go at your own pace.
Keeping fit is encouraged so that you can live a long and healthy life. Take caution when you exercise and be sure to eat well and get rest when needed.