Avoiding injury when starting a fitness routine

December 1, 2014
Avoiding injury when starting a fitness routine.
Avoiding injury when starting a fitness routine.

Obviously, leading a fit and healthy lifestyle is a far superior option to the alternative of gradually declining in physical shape. That said, there are important considerations to be had if you’re thinking about getting back into shape after a period of significant inactivity. While these concerns range from dealing with finding an appropriate workout regimen to making the time for physical activity to adjusting your diet accordingly, few are quite as important as doing everything in your power to avoid injury. Getting hurt not only has the power to derail your fitness regimen and any progress that you’ve made, but it can also limit your ability to get back in shape later on. There is good news regarding this, though, and that is that it’s entirely possible to avoid injury without going out of your way. In fact, implementing a few simple steps and tricks into your normal workout routine can make a world of difference in your ability to gain heightened levels of fitness while recovering fully between exercise and avoiding injury. Take a look at some of our best pieces of advice for those starting a new fitness routine:

Adding low impact exercises into your routine
Often, when we start a new fitness regime, one of the first impulses that we have is to build lean muscle. While this is certainly a worthwhile endeavor, it’s worth noting that focusing on solely this can actually be detrimental to our bodies. The different muscle groups of your body need adequate time to recover between workouts, and overuse of them, such as exercising the same parts of your body day in and day out, can lead to common injuries such as ligament strains and muscle tears. If you’re hoping to avoid this, an easy way to get around the problem of overuse is by adding low impact exercise into your workout regimen every other day. Spending some time away from the weight room and focusing on activities involving cardio fitness equipment can be a great way to not only boost your endurance but also to allow you muscles adequate time to heal between sets.

Don’t be afraid to take advice
It’s a hard thing to come to terms with for some people, but the gym is simply no place for foolish pride. Going into a workout routine, particularly one involving weightlifting, can actually be quite dangerous if you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. Whether you’re just beginning a fitness routine for the first time or are simply beginning to get back into shape after a decent amount of time spent away from the gym, Active recommends you consider working with a personal trainer. While this can seem like a somewhat unnecessary expense, they can help introduce you to proper weight lifting form and exercise options to help you build muscle and overall fitness with a reduced risk of injury. It’s important to remember as well that you need not subscribe to this individual’s services for a longer period of time than necessary. Try getting set up with a trainer for your first month or two back in the gym; once you feel like you have your bearings about you again, then you’ll be ready to fly solo.

Outfit yourself accordingly
The Mayo Clinic points out that one of the best ways to avoid injury is to outfit yourself with the necessary gear for a healthy and successful fitness regimen. This need not include anything particularly flashy, but make sure that you’re equipped with proper shoes for running or lifting. A decent pair of cross trainers that you only wear at the gym would be a worthwhile addition to any new gym goer’s wardrobe, and you may be surprised at how affordable they are. In all seriousness, nobody at the gym will notice if your sneakers are a few seasons out of style.