Injuries suck and sometimes they are just unavoidable. Sometimes bad things just happen. But there are things that you can do to reduce the risk of injury. All you have to do is do two simple things- Warm-up before you exercise and then stretch afterwards.
Why warm up before exercise?
It increases blood flow to your muscles (Which prepares them for the workload to come.)
You will be able to move better because warming-up increases the range of motion for your muscles and joints. (Which will help prevent soft tissue injuries)
Increased blood flow will allow oxygen and nutrients to flow to your muscles. This will prevent you from gassing out too soon.
5-10 minutes is all that is needed to get your body ready for a workout. A slow jog or skipping rope should do it. If you are weight training, it is best to warm up the muscle(s) that you plan to be working out.
Please try not to skip warming up, especially with the cold weather creeping up on us. As Ned Stark would say, “Winter is coming.” Your muscles will be shortened and tightened due to decreased blood flow and as a result, your risk for injury is higher. So if you want to reduce your risk for injury, warm up before you exercise.
After a your workout, you should commit some time to stretching. Again, you don’t have to spend a whole bunch of time stretching, just a few minutes.
Stretching after you exercise does three things for you-
It helps reduce stiffness, cramping, and soreness. How? Well think about it. You muscles have been constantly contracting during the workout. Your muscles are still in a shortened state. Stretching will help bring your muscles back to its natural state.
It makes you more flexible. Flexibility plays a big role in injury prevention. The more elastic a joint/muscle is, the less likely you are to injure that joint/muscle since you are able to move more freely. Being flexible also helps your performance in different sports.
Stretching can help you recover from certain injuries and it can also alleviate some pain. (Back pain is an example)
The last thing you need are pesky injuries getting in the way of your goals. So let’s all be proactive and warm up prior to exercise. After you exercise, set aside some time to stretch. It may be tedious at first, but it will be worth it in the long run.