Three Essential Tips to Make Your Training Sustainable and Avoid Injury
Contributed blog post
We are all in a rush with a busy lifestyle however we should always make time for methods that will help us avoid injury when we train. From pulled quad muscles to ACL tears, the odd injury is a normal part of life if you train hard. Or is it?
Below are essential tips that will help you avoid those minor aches and pains that keep you out of the gym for days at a time, as well as the really serious issues that can keep you on the couch long-term.
Get Checked Over By a Physio
If muscles are imbalanced—maybe you have greater strength in one of your biceps, or one of your quads is less flexible than the other—you won’t necessarily realize this until it’s too late, and the imbalance has caused an injury. Whether it’s caused by overcompensation or wear-and-tear, the resulting injury can take you by surprise if you don’t take steps to understand the state your body is in. We grow so accustomed to being in our own skin that it’s not always easy to spot imbalances in your own body. A single session with a physiotherapist or a qualified personal trainer is a good opportunity to get to grips with imbalances in your physique and take the necessary steps to correct them.
Stretch Every Time You Train
Let’s be honest: even if you’ve heard it a million times, it’s hard to remember to stretch every time you work out. Or, you remember, but you’ve run out of time in your workout, and you need to hit the shower. But the fact remains: stretching after every exercise class or training session is a crucial part of injury prevention. Everything in your body from your muscles to your tendons and ligaments can be prone to wear and tear.
Stretching increases flexibility, which drastically reduces your chances of sustaining painful injuries when you challenge your body by loading weight on your joints or changing direction suddenly. All athletes should stretch, but some forms of exercise require extra flexibility. For example, if you’re into mma or other martial arts, you’ll need to take extra care to stretch regularly.
Stop When Injured
While this may sound obvious, you might be surprised how many keen athletes struggle to stop training or drop out of upcoming matches or sporting events when they have sustained an injury. And you can see where they’re coming from: who wants to stay home on the couch just because your knee is throbbing a little?
That said, ignoring what seems to you like a minor injury could lead to a much more serious and painful injury if you continue to train. Unless it’s under the advice of your personal trainer, it’s best to wait until your injury has healed before starting to train again. That’s not to say you have to be a couch potato. Even if you’re injured, it’s important to avoid the sedentary lifestyle. Make sure you find ways to build light exercise into your day, just as long as you’re not putting stress on the injury.
Whether you’re a serious athlete or you simply can’t do without your daily workout, these tips will help you avoid injury in the long-term.