From a health perspective exercise has all kinds of benefits, both physical and mental and if you’re one of the many people who has a sedentary professional occupation then it’s highly recommended that you find some other way to get moving and shaking. If you’re worried about the possibility of injuring yourself, here are four tips to help you exercise safely.
Warm up and cool down properly
If you’re one of those people who bounces out of bed in the morning ready to go, then we congratulate you but we’re sure you’ve noticed that many other people need a bit of time to get themselves going. Your muscles are like that second group of people. It’s not fair to ask them to go from doing nothing to working hard without a bit of preparation, hence the importance of a warm up. Your cooling down period matters too. Going from working hard to doing nothing can also be a shock for your muscles so show them some tender loving care with a proper post-workout routine and you’ll feel the benefits.
Make sure you apply correct techniques
One of the great benefits of having a human trainer or even just a knowledgeable exercise partner is that you will learn the correct (meaning safe) way to approach your chosen form of exercise. If you’re working on your own, then it’s up to you to do the necessary research yourself. In this day and age, unless you’re interested in something really niche, you’ll probably find a lot of help online (in fact even if you are interested in something really niche, you’ll probably find at least some information on it). Knowing the correct techniques is, however, only the first step. You need to apply them and keep applying them.
Listen to your body
This brings us nicely to tip three. Listen to your body. An effective work-out should challenge you not cripple you. It’s fine to push yourself a bit beyond your comfort zone, but if you’re in pain or otherwise really struggling then it’s probably a sign that something is wrong and you need to stop and reassess and, possibly, get medical help.
Use good-quality equipment
You don’t need to buy pro-level equipment when you’re just starting out, but you do need to make sure that the equipment you use is fit for purpose. You might want to try hiring equipment until you’re sure you’re ready to commit to your chosen form of exercise, alternatively you could look at second-hand equipment. The second-hand market can be a great place to find deals on entry-level equipment as people develop their skills and upgrade their kit. Another option would be to try to buy your equipment around the time the next season’s gear is due out. Whatever you do, make sure that your choice of equipment will help to prevent injuries rather than inducing them.
Insurance, your last line of protection
The reality is that whatever form of exercise you do will almost certainly carry some risk of injury, how much depends on the sport and, to a certain extent at least, how competitive you are. For example recreational golfers are less likely to suffer injury than people who compete in amateur boxing competitions. Because of this, you might well want to think about checking you have insurance cover to protect you if you do find yourself nursing an injury. You might also want to look at the possibility of getting insurance cover for your equipment and potentially for damage to third parties. These last two points also apply more to some sports than others and sports which are particularly high-risk in this regard (for example cycling) may have sporting bodies which offer relevant cover or can at least give advice on where to obtain it.