How To Avoid Injury At The Gym
Your priority should be learning how to do this safely.
The gym is a great place to get fit and improve your strength, endurance and body composition. As part of an overall healthy lifestyle, you’ll feel better, look better and give yourself the best chance at a long, healthy life.
The fitness world is a multi-billion dollar industry. One look at social media and you’ll find picture-perfect fitness influencers sharing (or selling) their training programs and diets.
If you’ve decided to start a new exercise program, your priority should be learning how to do this safely, so that you don’t injure yourself and can continue to exercise consistently, which is where the real progress is made.
Get An Induction
Most gyms insist on you having an induction session so that you can get to know the equipment and layout before you start. Yes, most of the machines might look self-explanatory but it’s best to learn how to use these from a professional and reduce the chance that you’ll hurt yourself through incorrect form.
Listen To Your Body
There’s a saying in fitness, ‘no pain, no gain’. But this is misleading. While exercise should challenge you and some muscle soreness is to be expected, pain during exercise not normal. If you’re pushing yourself through pain to exercise, you could be doing real damage to your joints, tendons or muscles. Make an appointment with a specialist such as R4P Sports Injury Rehab who can assess your injury and work towards a rehabilitation plan.
Build Up Gradually
Embarking on a healthy lifestyle can be very exciting and you’re probably very impatient to see the results in the mirror or in your personal bests at the gym. However, going from zero exercise to spending every day in the gym isn’t the best thing to do. True progress happens when your body is given time to recover and rebuild. You’ll probably also be exhausted too, which puts you at greater risk of injury.
Choose Your Inspiration Carefully
As we’ve already mentioned, the internet is full of perfect-looking fitness influencers. Add to that the trend for the amazing superhero transformations you see with actors, then it can feel like you’re setting off on an impossible task. Looking at others for inspiration can be a great motivator, but there are a few things to remember which will ultimately help you in your quest for fitness. The first is that you should only be comparing yourself against yourself. Everyone is different and their body will respond differently to exercise and nutrition. Two people can do the exact same type of exercise, eat the same meals and still look completely different. Plus, a lot of these social media images are edited and filtered to look as good as possible.
The next point to remember is that not all fitness influencers are qualified to give you advice. Following poor advice when it comes to diet and fitness could cause you injury. Have a look at their credentials and if in doubt, ask a member of gym staff for their advice.
Learn About Nutrition
One of the most important elements of fitness is the food that you eat. This is just as true for those who are looking to lose weight or build muscle. Even if you’re not really looking to do either, knowing how to fuel your body properly for exercise is a great element.
You don’t have to go back to college or anything but find some reputable sources of information or consult a nutritionist to get some of the basics. There is a lot of poor information out there that will try and get you to purchase fad diets, supplements or other gimmicky items.
The best way to see consistent progress and reduce your risk of injury and burnout is to know how to get the nutrients and energy you need.
Hire A Personal Trainer
While the gym induction is great for getting to know the basics, having a few sessions with a personal trainer can really work on your form when performing exercises. They will show you how to complete an exercise so that you’re not putting pressure on the wrong places. If you already have an injury or weaker area, they can adapt exercises to take this into account.
Injury is often a roadblock to progress when it comes to fitness. Not all injuries can be avoided but many of them can through following proper technique and taking things at a realistic pace. Before you know it, you’ll be smashing those fitness goals.