However, as most gym goers will tell you, you can’t just rush in and reach for the first machine you find and expect to see results. What’s more, you’re more likely to injure yourself and cause more harm than good. Here are some ways to avoid injuries.
Pick a Suitable Class
Most gyms have various classes you can take, depending on what you are trying to achieve with your workout. These classes are typically run by professional athletes and trainers, which means that they know what they are doing. What’s more, they will help you do all of the exercises properly and safely. So, not only will you be safer, you will also get the most out of the exercise.
Stretch and Warm Up
People often conflate these two pre-workout activities, but they are separate things and they have a different purpose. However, what they do have in common is that they are essential before any serious workout and skipping them is likely to result in an injury.
Stretching has the purpose to, well stretch, your muscles and prepare them for the strain which is to come. On the other hand, warmup has the task of warming up your muscles to the optimal temperature for strenuous physical activity. Typically, warmup consists of cardio exercises. These are intensive enough to get your blood rushing and to warm up your muscles, but they won’t tire you out before your main workout.
Know Your Weak Points
We all have parts of our body which we consider weaker than others. For some it’s the lower back, others have issues with ankles or knees, and so on. It is important that you are aware of your weak point and to adopt your workout accordingly. Whether it is an old injury or simply a part of the body which is naturally weaker, you need to be aware of it and embrace the situation.
That is not to say that you should ignore and skip that part of the body. You can custom make a workout routine around this flaw and minimize the strain on the body part. You can gradually increase the intensity of the workout for the problematic area as it grows stronger.
Don’t Forget to Rest
Taking a break after each set is hugely important. It doesn’t make you weak and it doesn’t mean that you are giving up. When you use your muscles, they create a byproduct called lactic acid. When using your muscles normally, like for walking and sitting, your bloodstream can easily remove the problematic matter from each muscle cell easily and effectively.
However, during strenuous physical activity, particularly if it lasts for a long time, your vascular system simply can’t keep up with the production of this toxic matter. You need to give it time to clean up everything. Otherwise, you are risking overstraining your muscles and causing an injury.
This goes without saying, but you need special clothes when you hit the gym. You cannot wear just anything, because you will need the freedom of motion. Fortunately, there are plenty of different options out there depending on what your workout is like.
One of the most important aspects of gym wear are your shoes. There are specialized running shoes for runners, but other physically active people don’t get that much variety. However, there are some simple and clear guidelines about what makes a good gym shoe. First of all, it needs to be tightly laced to ensure that your foot will be held firmly in place. They also need to be comfortable as you will likely be lifting some heavy loads in them.
Food and Drinks
We all know how important eating right and drinking enough fluids is for the normal functioning of our bodies. However, when you are committed to the gym life, your needs change somewhat. You will need to increase the intake, as you will spend more. Consult a nutritionist or a doctor if you want accurate and reliable advice about nutrition.
Once you get used to going to the gym, it becomes a very important part of your life and one which contributes to your wellbeing. However, you still need to be careful not to injure yourself at the gym.