The Center for Disease Control recommends that adults between 18 and 64 get 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic exercise a week (in addition to two days of muscle strengthening). Exercise offers several benefits, including a longer lifespan. Even so, exercise isn’t beneficial if it results in an injury. Luckily, most of the exercise-related injuries are highly preventable.
Preventing Injury When Working Out
Sometimes, aches and pains are just part of a rigorous exercise routine, particularly for older people. However, there are plenty of ways to work out without hurting yourself. These include:
Listening to Your Body:
Your body will tell you when you’re overdoing it: all you need to do is listen. If a certain exercise always leaves you sore, replace it with a different one. If running six miles constantly leaves your knees feeling like they’re about to implode, consider a lower-impact routine. If exercising with a strained muscle typically makes your condition worse, put off working out until you are fully healed.
Catering Your Routine to Your Gender:
Both men and women have gender-related issues that make them prone to certain injuries. For instance, men are less likely to get injured during activities that require a rigid plane of motion (such as weight lifting, resistance training, and push-ups). Women are less likely to get injured during activities that require multiple or diagonal planes of motion (such as Pilates, yoga, and spinning). Women are also more prone to ACL injuries and more likely to be injured during their menstrual cycle.
Employing a Professional:
You may be fine working out on your own, but even a few lessons with a certified professional trainer can be beneficial: they can help you learn to exercise properly and teach you how to align your body while working out. A professional can also help you operate gym equipment correctly, an important thing to learn, as heavy equipment, can cause injuries: according to NBC News, the Consumer Products Safety Commission estimates that over 50,000 people are treated in emergency rooms each year after exercise equipment-related injuries. Treadmills, because they are easy to fall off of, are responsible for most of them.
Knowing Your Age Limitations:
Growing old is like paying taxes; it’s unavoidable. This can be hard to swallow, especially for those of us who perpetually feel young at heart. But, ignoring age can cause injuries. The shoulders, the knees, and the ankles are often the first areas impaired when time marches on. Thus, for those who want to keep exercising well into their golden years, it’s best to engage in low-impact exercise that doesn’t put a great amount of stress on injury-prone joints.
Warm Up Beforehand:
It was once believed that stretching before exercise was a vital factor in preventing injuries. But, as reported in Men’s Health, it’s not the stretching that prevents most injuries; rather, it’s the warming up. Warming up slowly increases the blood flow to your muscles, which readies them for activity and makes them less likely to strain, tear, or pull when that activity begins.