How to Avoid Injury in the Gym
When you go to the gym to get your workout in, the last thing you want to happen is an injury. You are going there in hopes of building up your body and becoming a stronger, healthier person. Leaving in worse shape than how you arrived is counterproductive. Additionally, it can result in you being unable to do any exercise at all. You could be put on limitations that you would rather not want to deal with until your injury heals.
When information was collected by researchers from July of 1999 to June of 2013 it was reported that 2,873 people were sent to the emergency room as a direct result of an accident at a fitness facility. While the risk of injury is always going to be present, you can do certain things to lower it when you are working out. Follow these tips and tricks to have a better chance of walking out of your gym injury free every time. Lets look at How to Avoid Injury in the Gym by following these simple practices.
Learning the Proper Techniques
Whether you’ve been working out for years or if you’re new to it, you have to follow the proper techniques. Your body is only meant to twist and turn in so many different directions. Additionally, you are only going to be capable of lifting so much weight, no matter how far you want to push yourself.
Instead of just going in and taking your best guess, you can hire a professional personal trainer. Even if you only get their services once or twice, you can learn a lot about what you’re supposed to be doing with each exercise or piece of equipment. Most importantly, listen to your body. If something hurts or doesn’t feel right, don’t be afraid to quit and try a new method.
Warm Up Your Body
You’ve probably heard it at least a few times: warming up is essential. By doing a quick five to ten minutes of low-intensity, high-repetition, fast-paced movement of some kind, you greatly reduce your risk of pulling a muscle or causing other damages. Warm muscles have a greater mobility and flexibility allowing you to do more. That’s because the blood is flowing through your body more efficiently than it does when you’re resting. Not only are you less likely to get hurt after a warm-up, but your workout performance is also going to be much greater than if you skipped it.
Stretching Before, During, and After Your Workout
Stretching is different than a warmup because you are focusing on relaxing and elongating the muscles. When you give your muscles this attention, they are going to be more alert, loose, warm, and ready to be pushed further. With the muscles being more flexible, they are more resistant to injury.
You don’t have to save your stretches for just before or after your workout either. You can do quick ones in between sets or machines to keep the elasticity in the fascia casing that wraps around the muscles. That post-workout stretch is what’s going to keep you free from pain the day after a tough workout too.
Sometimes, when it comes to working out, less is more. You might think that the only way you are going to be able to reach your goals is by working out every single day or even twice a day. While it may give you the results you are seeking out for a bit, eventually progress is going to stall and you are going to be at greater risk for hurting yourself. There is a negative impact on the conditioning and strength your body can obtain when you are working your muscles and the nervous system too much. The body doesn’t have time to rest, recharge, and heal if you never give it the break that it needs.
Glycogen stores and ATP that are needed to function at your greatest potential will become exhausted and your body will weaken after just a short time of overtraining. If you feel as though this is the reason for your pain or discomforts, experts recommend that you cut back to an hour workout three or four times a week until you can recharge fully.
Feed Your Body the Proper Nutrition
What you feed your body in terms of food and other nutrients is just as important as what you do to the outside of it in the gym. For example, if you are working out as a pathway to weight loss, there’s a good chance you are also cutting calories. This can be dangerous because then you aren’t getting enough nutrients. Your body needs a certain amount of proteins, fats, and other components found in a regular diet in order to properly function.
If you are on a restricted diet and you still want to work out, it’s best to avoid the super strenuous exercises like lifting heavy weights. You can still go to the gym, but stick with the lower pounds and less intense movements while you are watching the number on the scale.
Focus on the Task at Hand
For those that live a busy lifestyle, and most do, it’s easy to lose focus on what you’re doing while you’re working out. You can’t complete your exercises with the proper technique if you aren’t paying attention to what you’re doing. Without that concentration on your workout, you are increasing your risk for an accident. It doesn’t matter if you are working out for a half hour or two hours; you have to remain in the moment and aware of what you are doing to your body to keep from hurting yourself.
Treatment and Prevention of Gym-Related Injuries
Following an injury that you couldn’t avoid, you want to get treatment for it as soon as possible. You also want to do whatever you can to prevent it from ever happening in the first place. One natural way of doing both is by visiting Better Health Chiropractic in Anchorage or your nearest chiropractic clinic. People that visit a chiropractor’s office regularly for alignments and adjustments can take advantage of the plethora of benefits from doing so.
A professional chiropractor knows how to find any issues that could potentially lead to an injury like a misaligned vertebra. They can also help with things like chiropractic massage and other forms of treatment to get you on the road to recovery much quicker without the use of harmful prescription medications or surgery.
About Dr. Brent Wells
Dr. Brent Wells is a graduate of the University of Nevada where he earned his bachelor’s of science degree before moving on to complete his doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College. He founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Alaska in 1998.
He became passionate about being in the chiropractic field after his own experiences with hurried, unprofessional healthcare providers. The goal for Dr. Wells is to treat his patients with care and compassion while providing them with a better quality of life through his professional treatment.
Dr. Wells is a member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. He continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.
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Gray, S. E., & Finch, C. F. (2015, April 14). The causes of injuries sustained at fitness facilities presenting to Victorian emergency departments – identifying the main culprits. Retrieved November 2, 2018, from US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5005555/
Shellock, F., & Prentice, W. (1985, Jul-Aug). Warming-up and stretching for improved physical performance and prevention of sports-related injuries. Retrieved November 2, 2018, from US National Library of Medicine National Institues of Health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3849057