Workout consistency is extremely underrated. What a lot of people fail to recognize is that it is a combination of getting the most out of each workout along with consistently working out that earns the best results. Missing days or weeks at a time will set back the time table for reaching your goals.
So what is stops you from working out? You guessed it (and the title gave it away), injury. Injuries, along with getting sick, really disrupt your routine. Nobody likes to sit around and heal. We would rather be doing something. Yet when you get injured that is exactly what you have to do; nothing.
Plus the entire time you aren’t working out there is that irritation that you should be working out and you mentally count the ways you are losing muscle tone or your gains are suffering. Obviously the way to avoid all of this is to simply avoid injuries. Easier said than done though right? Not quite. There are actually a few things you can and should do to avoid injuries.
Top 4 Tips to Avoid Injuries
- Warm Up – No really, you actually need to do this. Everyone understands the concept of a proper warm up, but at best most people just go through the motions. Spending five minutes walking on a treadmill followed by two minutes of half-hearted stretching is not warming up. Ideally you spend at least 10 minutes doing some sort of cardio activity and at a pace that gets the blood moving and body warm. Joints need to be loose, you should be sweating lightly, and your heart rate should get elevated. Then you need to spend more time stretching and loosening up the target area before you go after it.
- Cool Down – What do you do when you finish working out? Like most people, you probably grab your stuff and walk out of the gym, sit in your car, then drive home. During that period your muscles immediately tighten up. You simply can’t drive the car at 60 then slam on the breaks. Again you need to cool the body down and stretch those muscles out. That extra stretching after the workout helps with flexibility and recovery, both keys to avoiding injury.
- Variety – Variety is the spice of life and a key to avoiding injury. Doing the exact same thing over and over can put a lot of wear and tear on your joints. You need to mix up exercises, cardio machine, and even sports you play regularly to go at your body from different angles. Also by doing this you develop a wider range of functional movement patterns and better agility along with more joint stability. This can lead to avoidance of injury as your body knows how to move and adapt to avoid a problem.
- Foam Rolls – Using a foam roller helps to loosen and smooth out the fascia tissue which is that tough, tight layer of tissue that encases muscles. This connective tissue can become inflamed and release or lengthening of the tissue reduces that risk.
The Bottom Line
You only have one body and when it is injuries you simply have to shut it down. Spend some time using these tips to ensure that you are in the best position to avoid injuries and keep yourself on track to reach your goals. Breaks should be taken because we chose to, not because we are forced to.