Much of today’s workouts are based on the trend that you need to push yourself past your limits to achieve lasting results. Problem with these workout methods is that they can often end up causing injuries. In the most extreme examples, injuries that are spurred from intense exercise can result in hospitalizations. In fact, more than 174,000 women each year end up in the ER with an exercise-related injury. Most of these incidents happen from overexerting yourself too soon or making your body perform in ways that it is not accustomed to.
When you are at the gym the last thing you want to do is get injured. Here are some tips to follow to help you avoid getting injured during common routines.
Whether you are running outdoors or on the treadmill, injuries such as shin splints, tendinitis, runner’s knee and hip pain can and often do occur. These are commonly associated with runners who exceed their normal mileage too quickly, overtrain, and try to continue through workouts despite aches and pains.
To prevent running-related injury, increase your mileage slowly each week. If you run frequently, a 10 percent increase each week should be safe. You may also want to consider the affect your shoes are having on your body. Getting fitted for shoes at a running specialty store can help you match your shoes to your gait.
CrossFit is a high-intensity, face-paced workout that involves little rest between sets. As the workout routines are head to toe, the demand placed on your body can be damaging especially if you overexert yourself or do not practice proper technique. CrossFitters often experience muscle strains, torn ligaments and stress fractures. These injuries can and should be avoided.
To prevent injuries related to your CrossFit exercises, consult with a personal trainer to ensure proper form and technique. Because you are doing a lot of technical lifting such as Olympic lifting, squats, pull-ups and push-ups, bad form can get you injured fast. A personal trainer familiar with these exercises can help make sure you are using proper technique and help you to avoid injury.
Weight lifting accounts for a lot of the injuries at a gym. Outside of unfortunate accidents like dropping weights on toes or smashing fingers, a lot of injuries can also stem from overexertion, excess weight, and uncontrolled movements.
To avoid injuries while weight lifting, start with light weights and work your way up over a few weeks. You can also gradually increase the number of reps that you do as you get stronger before you increase the weight. Finally, work out with a partner who can help you to keep your repetitions slow and controlled.
Injury Prevention Overview
Most of the injuries we have outlined above are caused because of improper technique, overexertion, or a case of too-much-too-soon. To use a workout term as an analogy, your workout campaigns should be more like a marathon not a footrace – pace is important. Extreme lifting, overexertion or poor knowledge of proper technique can get you in trouble and have the adverse effect that you were looking for in the first place. Take it slow, elevate your routines with measured, metered growth, and when you are unsure, consult with a personal trainer or fitness professional to help you along the way.
Daniel E. Lofaso frequently covers topics on health and fitness. He is a regular writing and contributor to Sweat New York, a gym in Westbury, Long Island.