Getting into the habit of exercising isn’t easy. Not only is finding time to exercise a major deterrent for people, but fear of aches, pain and injury is also a reason people put off starting a new diet. practice.
But exercise doesn’t have to result in pain or injury. Here are some simple things you can do to avoid them at first.
1. Warm up
It is important to warm up before your exercise. Warming up raises the temperature of working muscles and the whole body. It also prepares your body for the increased stress of exercise.
Muscles that have been warmed up can be exercised longer, suffer less pain and reduce the risk of injury.
What exactly constitutes an effective warm-up varies from workout to workout. But in general, you should dedicate at least five to 10 minutes of your workout to warming up.
Start with large full-body movements, such as bodyweight squats and lunges, before moving on to more task-specific actions, such as walking or jogging before running, or lifting light weights before to do bodybuilding.
Your warm-up should not be too intense. Try to use only about 40-60% of your maximum effort.
Your warm-up can also include a dose of dynamic stretching (moving a limb through its full range of motion instead of holding the stretch), but stretching alone is not an effective strategy.
You may want to consider using self-massage tools like foam rollers instead, as they can help optimize your warm-up. Just two minutes of foam rolling has been shown to reduce muscle soreness in the days following exercise.
2. Don’t overestimate what you can do
A common mistake when starting a new exercise regimen is to do too much. This can lead to soreness after workouts and can also increase the risk of injury.
When starting a new workout plan, it’s important to start gradually and at your own pace.
Since everyone is different, avoid following an exercise program that uses absolute distances or repetitions. Instead, focus on how you feel during a workout and listen to what your body is telling you.
It can take weeks or even months to notice the benefits of exercise, so don’t expect to see your health and fitness improve overnight.
It’s also worth noting that progress isn’t always linear – on some days you may find it difficult to exercise as long or as hard as the previous session. Listen to your body and stop when you feel tired to avoid injury.
3. Take time to recover
Taking a day or two off each week is vital for recovery. But you don’t have to sit around and do nothing for your recovery days to be effective.
Active recovery is just as effective at helping your muscles recover and helping you avoid soreness and injury. Active recovery can include low-effort exercises like walking or yoga.
Although you should take at least one day off between strength workouts, another strategy to boost recovery is to work different muscle groups on different days. This will prevent your muscles from using the same movements over and over again, which can lead to overuse injuries.
Although aerobic exercise (like running or cycling) generally doesn’t require as long a recovery period as strength training, it’s still beneficial to mix up your exercises to avoid injury. This will provide a more balanced workout and prevent poor movement technique or poor form.
Rotating between running, swimming, cycling or whatever takes your fancy will allow your body to recover and help you achieve your fitness goals.
4. Learn good form
Developing correct form early on is important when starting a new exercise regimen to avoid developing bad habits. At first, take it slow, try a range of different exercises, and don’t add too much weight until you’ve mastered the technique. Performing the movements correctly will help you avoid injury.
If you choose to exercise at a gym or fitness center, ask a trainer for advice if you’re unsure about your form. If you prefer to train on your own, there are plenty of resources available online to guide you in your training. You may also consider filming yourself to see what your form looks like.
5. Invest in the right shoes
The right pair of shoes can make all the difference in your workouts. This is especially important for running, as the comfort and support will help reduce soreness and make your runs more enjoyable.
You don’t need an expensive shoe either – just one that provides proper support for your unique gait, which will help protect vulnerable areas of your feet from overuse injuries.
If you’re looking to start weightlifting, look for flat, hard shoes to provide a bit more stability while you lift. Specialized weight lifting shoes are also an option, as their elevated heel will allow you to achieve the proper ankle, knee, and hip angles for effective lifting. This will allow you to maintain proper form and reduce the risk of injury.
Don’t let fear of pain or injury deter you from starting a new exercise regimen. The benefits of exercise far outweigh the temporary feeling of muscle soreness that can accompany a new exercise regimen. Not to mention, if you make exercise a regular habit, you’re less likely to feel bad after every workout.
Lewis Macgregor, Lecturer in Sport, Health and Exercise Science, University of Stirling
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.