EXERCISE, NOT INJURY. 7 Top Tips to Exercise Safely

EXERCISE, NOT INJURY. 7 Top Tips to Exercise Safely

Top 7 Tactics to Avoid Overuse Exercise Injuries

If you鈥檝e hurt yourself while exercising, then you know that overuse injuries are a serious issue. However, using these techniques will help you avoid them, so you can exercise without worrying about getting hurt.

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1.聽聽聽聽聽 Stretch first. Do a series of simple and effective stretches before you exercise. This will warm up your muscles and get them ready for a more intense workout.


2.聽聽聽聽聽 Pay attention to your body. One of the biggest reasons why overuse injuries occur is because you don鈥檛 listen to your body and push yourself too far.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Pay attention to both your body and mind as you exercise.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Notice the initial signs of pain, soreness, and fatigue. Avoid pushing yourself to the point of injury.


聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 A small strain or sprain can quickly become a bigger issue if you continue to exercise. It鈥檚 important to relax and give your body the chance to recover.

3.聽聽聽聽聽 Do strengthening exercises. Strengthening exercises such as lifting weights can do more than give you bigger muscles.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Strengthening exercises can help you prevent overuse injuries by giving you stronger muscles and joints that don鈥檛 injure as easily. Include them in your regular routines.


4.聽聽聽聽聽 Do cross-train. It鈥檚 dangerous to only do one type of exercise. Cross-training allows you to do several different types of exercises on the same day, so your body gets a more effective workout.

Cross-training聽also helps you avoid overuse injuries because you鈥檙e putting less stress on one part of your body. For example, you can spend time running on the treadmill to g

et a good leg workout and later lift weights for your arms. This will help you prevent injuries.

5.聽聽聽聽聽 Be careful with pain medications. Pain medications can help you relieve the symptoms after you get an overuse injury. However, they鈥檙e also dangerous if used too often.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Pain medications can mask the severity of your injuries and put you at risk of getting even more injured. They can encourage you to keep exercising because you鈥檝e lessened the pain and feel like you can continue.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 It鈥檚 important to discuss your pain medication use with your doctor and trainer.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Avoid using the medication as an excuse to keep exercising and hurting yourself.

6.聽聽聽聽聽 Be mindful of a healthy diet. Your injuries need the right nutrition to heal. Your body supplies the nutrients to your cells, so they can recover.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Ensure your diet includes the vitamins, minerals, and other components necessary to heal. Avoid junk food such as sugary or salty snacks and focus on vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts.

7.聽聽聽聽聽 Seek help from professionals. If you notice a minor strain or sprain that won鈥檛 go away, it may be time to get help. Speak to your trainer, doctor, or physical therapist about the pain you feel.

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 You don鈥檛 want to hide the pain and pretend you鈥檙e fine because this can lead to more injuries.

Exercise shouldn鈥檛 leave you in pain and unable to walk for weeks. You can avoid overuse injuries by following these tips.

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Avoid Overuse Injuries: Top Tips

Avoid Overuse Injuries: Top Tips

Say Goodbye to Overuse Injuries聽

Overuse injuries from exercise, running or intense physical activity can cause overuse injuries.

Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body and mind, but it can cause two kinds of injuries. You鈥檒l notice major trauma like a sprained ankle or dislocated shoulder immediately, but other damage builds up over time.

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Stiff legs or sore elbows could be overuse injuries that usually come from working out too often or too intensely. You may not see any visible signs, but your muscles and skeleton still need healing.

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Try these tips that will help you stay active and speed up your recovery when you do suffer an injury.

Preventing Overuse Injuries:

  1. Schedule rest time. Your body grows stronger when you give it adequate time to heal in between workouts. Overuse injuries are a strong message that you need to take a break.

  1. Vary your workouts. Repetitive movements put more stress on your body because you keep using the same parts in the same ways. Try alternating exercises. If you鈥檙e a parent, keep in mind that children can be especially high risk if they over-specialize in one sport while their bodies are still developing.

  1. Change your equipment. Do your running shoes fit? Properly sized gear appropriate for your sport can help keep you safe.

  1. Consult a trainer. Precise alignment is another consideration. Study videos or work with a specialist who can teach you how to squat or pitch a softball correctly.

  1. Build up gradually. Avoid trying to do too much too soon. Adding 10% a week to your strength exercises, distance, or speed works for most adults.

  1. Warm up. Gentle movements prepare your body and mind for what鈥檚 ahead. Roll your shoulders and walk around for a few minutes before doing more challenging activities.

  1. Stretch your muscles. Complete your workouts by training for flexibility. Target your stiff spots and hold each stretch for a few minutes.

  1. Listen to your body. Structural issues or medical conditions can make overuse injuries more likely. Take extra care if you have flat feet or you tore your rotator cuff last winter when you were shoveling snow. Stop doing any activity that causes pain.

Treating Overuse Injuries:

  1. Take a break. Proper rest is essential for both prevention and treatment of injuries. It鈥檚 the first step in the standard RICE formula that you may have heard of. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

  1. Apply ice. Ice packs are most helpful when used early and often. During the first couple of days after an injury, they can dramatically reduce swelling and discomfort. To protect your skin, use a covered ice pack or wrap a bag of frozen peas in a towel.

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  1. Wrap it up. Elastic bandages also cut down on swelling. Limit their use to no more than 2 days in order to restore the normal blood flow necessary for healing.

  1. Elevate the area. Try to keep your hurt arm or leg at or above the level of your heart. Prop them up on a pillow while you鈥檙e watching TV or working.

  1. Relieve pain. Anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen may help. They鈥檙e available over-the-counter or in stronger prescription form. Follow the directions on the label and talk with your doctor if your symptoms last for more than 10 days.

  1. See your physician. Your doctor can recommend prevention and treatment strategies appropriate for your individual body. Talk with your health care professionals if home remedies aren鈥檛 working or you have any concerns.

Most overuse injuries can be prevented if you know the signs and take action promptly. Stay fit and active by giving your body the rest it needs and using proper form when you work out.

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