Last week we brought you the first part of our short blog series on staying healthy while exercising. There, we gave you our first four recommendations that may help you stave off injuries and continue to workout. For this second part, we are going to cover four more concepts to keep in mind while exercising.
This is one of the biggest reasons why many professional athletes and recreational exercisers are getting injuries regularly. Overuse injury are fairly common and lack of rest usually plays a large factor in this. You have to rest to let your muscles recover and let your body strengthen worn out ligaments and joints.
Even those that are in peak physical condition understand the importance of having rest days. Furthermore, some people suggest that rest weeks are regularly needed depending on how physical your activities are. As a general rule of thumb, if you exercise a few times a week you should have at least one rest day between workouts.
Without proper rest you have a huge risk of over training yourself. This could possibly lead to injuring yourself during workouts. Rest, furthermore, does not just mean laying around. Part of proper rest is also getting a great nights sleep. So make sure you aim for at least eight hours of sleep.
6. Taking proper care of existing injuries:
If you have experienced some form of injury before, you know how difficult it can be to recover from that injury. However, there is always the one person who rushes back to the gym with a partial injury that becomes a full blown injury. If you experience anything from a bad back ache to a torn ligament, make sure you take proper precautions – including seeing your doctor.
Don’t hurry back to the gym too early and when you finally come back, be careful and protect the injured site well. Some people feel like they are missing out by sitting on the side lines, but you will miss out even more if you go back too early and injury yourself even worse. Be patient and smart.
7. Proper nutrition:
This seems like a no brainer, but a lot of people mistakenly believe that if they workout hard enough they can eat whatever they like. As much as we might hope this to be the case, unfortunately, what you are what you eat. We have previously covered before that improper nutrition can lead to joint pain, but it can also effect recovery and development.
Take this as a reminder that you have to think about food just as much as you think about exercising if you want to perform your best. Enough calories doesn’t automatically mean enough nutrients. Even if you are putting on weight you can still be malnourished. On the other hand, just because you are losing weight doesn’t mean you are doing it properly.
Poor nutrition means your wounds won’t heal well and your muscles will constantly hurt since they don’t have proper ingredients for recovery. Similarly, having a poor diet can also lead to inflammation in your body, which easily leads to injuries. Also keep in mind that water and hydration is just as important for your performance and injury prevention.
8. The right mindset:
While exercising you have to know your limits and be able to let go of ego if necessary. If you are an older individual, you probably have to come to grasps that you are not going to be able to do the same thing as the athlete in their 20’s.
Working out hard doesn’t mean exercising mindlessly and moving from thing to another. Also go into the gym with a plan. Even if you are walking or jogging around the neighborhood you should have a plan. No need to go beyond your limit, because by that point you may experience an injury.
Our staff at Metropolitan Pain Consultants looks forward to hearing from you and discussing all the options for staying healthy while exercising. You can contact us at (201) 729-0001. We offer weekday and weekend appointments. Our conveniently located clinics can be found in West Orange, Aberdeen, Clifton, and Lyndhurst.