Top tips on how to avoid injury when exercising
Of course, for most people, a trip to the gym doesn’t result in an injury, but it’s always better to be on the safe side. These tips will help you to reduce your chance of aches, pains, and full-blown injuries.
1. Warm up and cool down properly
Whether your preferred form of exercise is long-distance running, a dance class, or lifting weights, you should always make time to both warm up and cool down appropriately. Spending 10 minutes warming up will get your blood flowing and should help you to become more flexible – think light jogging, lunges, and squats.
Cool downs are equally as important, as failing to do so could cause you to strain your muscles – all you need to do is turn down the intensity of your workout. For instance, if you’ve spent 30 minutes running on the treadmill, turn that into a slow jog, followed by a walk.
2. Learn the right technique
If you’ve just signed up at a new gym, ask for an induction so that you can have a proper demonstration of how to use all the equipment. If you’re still unsure, it might be worth paying for a couple of personal training sessions, so you can learn the proper form when doing exercises.
Whilst it can be tempting to jump straight in, as you can see, poor posture and incorrect use of machines is the root cause of a lot of injuries.
3. Listen to your body
Sometimes you just don’t feel like exercising, and it’s important to recognise the difference between when you’re feeling lazy, or when your body’s genuinely tired and you feel like you physically can’t handle a workout.
When exercising, pay attention to your body at all times. If you’re lifting weights and find your shoulder’s twinging, then don’t power through, as that could make it worse.
As Anthony Fleming, General Manager of Health Insurance at Compare the Market Australia states: “Whilst that burst of energy you feel just before a workout can leave you wanting to jump straight in, it’s important you know the correct techniques and ways of using the equipment, so you don’t get injured unnecessarily.
“However, sometimes injuries do happen and in some cases, this can land you in public hospital emergency departments. In instances like these, private health insurance can be useful for ongoing care and support. Having a private health insurance policy in place ensures you are prepared for that possibility, so you can spend less time worrying about the expense and more time focusing on a safe and healthy recovery.”
You can use Compare the Market’s free health insurance comparison tool to look for a policy that is most suitable for you and your personal circumstances.