No pain no gain, right? Wrong! As we come into this new year, many of us have made goals and resolutions to go to the gym more or join some fitness classes. If you are one of these people, that’s awesome! But there are some things you need to know before you tie up those sneakers and tackle that workout.
The first thing you need to know is that anyone is susceptible to an injury. You could be a newbie or a pro-athlete. Common injuries that people may acquire are shin splints, tendonitis, sprains, dislocations, knee and ankle injuries, shoulder injuries, muscle pulls, and strains.
So what can we do to prevent any one of these injuries? Warm-up and cool-down: do something that gets your body moving and your heart pumping, like a bike or jump rope. Loosen up your muscles: stretch, stretch, stretch! Ease into it: don’t go from zero to sixty. Fuel yourself: stay hydrated and eat right, your body will perform better.
It doesn’t stop there! Give yourself one or two days off a week for your body to recover. Have trouble spots, like weak ankles? Incorporate exercises into your workout that will strengthen those areas, but remember to start lightly and gradually build up strength. Cross train: mix it up! So run one day, lift another day, then play basketball or an active exercise another day.
Now you know the basics of prevention, but everyone can make a mistake sometimes. So what happens when something goes wrong and you get an injury? Well rest assured! Most minor injuries should go away in about a month if treated well.
When first dealing with injuries, follow the acronym: RICE. R: Rest the injury! Kick your feet up, watch Netflix to pass the time or catch up on your studies. I: Ice the injured area to decrease the swelling and inflammation. C: Apply a compression bandage to reduce swelling. E: Elevate the injured area to also reduce the swelling by using pillows. (Note: consult a doctor if your injury does not improve in a couple weeks, these are general ways to treat a minor injury).
So go achieve those new year’s goals, sign up for some classes (Women on Weights just started and a bunch of other classes are offered at the ARCC), and keep up the good work in a safe, healthy way! And if you have questions about exercises, never be afraid to ask! You will thank yourself when you are stronger and injury-free!