No Pain, No Gain?
So you’ve finally decided to incorporate some strength training into your fitness lifestyle. Good for you! The physical and emotional benefits of strength training have been well-documented for its positive effects for both men and women of various ages. Blend your weight training with some cardio a few times per week, and you’ve got a recipe for awesomeness that will help you reach your health and fitness goals in no time!
Unfortunately, knowing the keys to avoiding injury is part of the reality when you incorporate weight training. Whether it be strains, pulled muscles, or fractured toes from a dropped dumbbell gone awry. With a bit of preparation and conscious thinking, avoiding injury will keep you out of the doctor’s office or worse yet, the emergency room. Follow these tips to reduce injury and receive maximum results.
4 Tips for Avoiding Injury
1) Don’t skip your warm up.
In the interest of saving time, sometimes we tend to shirk the warm up routine. Warm muscles – with blood, oxygen, and nutrients flowing through them – are more pliable than cold muscles, and this can lead to fewer strains and pulls. A good warm up also helps our range of motion and increases coordination, enabling us to sustain the workout ahead.
2) Focus on form.
The human body is amazing and resilient, but it is possible to get injured if we speed through exercises with improper form. If a particular move is too difficult with a certain weight, slow down and/or reduce the weight (resistance bands work, too). Be mentally present, and remain focussed on your form during every move. Don’t let ego get in the way of safety, and remember it’s not a race.
3) Avoid overtraining.
Listen to your body for possible signs of overtraining. Symptoms of overtraining may include sudden pain, chronic pain that won’t subside, heart rate changes, and unusual fatigue after a workout. A proper exercise program should progress steadily over a gradual period of time, and focuses on varying muscle groups with enough recovery time in between. Every Beachbody program is designed specifically to account for these proper incremental increases to your routine (including rest days!), which will keep you safe, yet yield great results.
4) Sleep and eat well.
You’ve heard this before, and that’s because it’s true. The role of sleep is so important to our body’s ability to restore and repair muscles, and to rebuild our immune system. Pair that with proper nutrition, and you’ve got a formula for success. Restricting calorie intake too much is also a big no-no, especially when weight training. Your body needs the fuel. Programs like the 21 Day Fix can help you make those calories count by teaching you how to eat the right portions of lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats for best results.
Benefits and Risk
Avoiding injury doesn’t have to mean you can’t be intense with your workouts. You just have to train smart. The benefits of resistance training are many, including reducing symptoms of arthritis, diabetes, obesity, and osteoporosis. You can mitigate the risk of injury by remembering to use common sense. To remain safe, listen to your body, and if you are new to weight training, take it slow (always consult a doctor before embarking on any strenuous physical activity for which you are not accustomed).
If you do get injured it’s not the end of the world, but it will set you back a bit while you slow down to recover. Avoiding injury in the first place will keep you on track and allow you to make the most of your valuable workout time so you won’t miss a beat. Follow these tips and you will be on your way to the physique of your dreams!
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I appreciate you and wish you success and beyond!
She girds herself with strength,
and makes her arms strong.