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How to avoid injury when working out

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Workout induced injuries are quite common among people who jump into the new routine. Instead of getting the much needed benefit of exercise, they are maligned with sprains, muscle pulls and pain and sometimes fracture.

Wondering why does it happen? It happens because one carries out too much or too often of a correct activity. In some cases, the person chooses a wrong activity for the wrong body type.

Most of the time, people just get too excited to start an exercise program and forget some simple methods that will help them prevent injury.

So, how to avoid these injuries while you hit the iron? Read the instructions  given below for an injury free exercise program.

Know your body, your needs and limitations

Accept the fact that not everyone can do everything. Workout only that much your body can tolerate. Overuse of your muscles can inflict upon injuries to your bones and muscles. Therefore, know your body type and then decide your workout regimen. For example: you are not supposed to lift heavy weights, if you have a backache or do heavy cardio with heart problems.

Secondly, always be sure of the purpose behind working out, i.e. whether you are doing it for therapeutic, relaxation, muscle building, weight loss or fitness. The exercises will be determined accordingly. Simply put, “do not do anything that hurts your body”.

Gender matters too!

For example: the flexibility and stamina of men is suitable for muscle building workouts with weights.Women generally prefer aerobics, yoga and pilates. This is because of the biological functioning of our body. So, what we suggest is- try those exercises that you are comfortable doing to avoid injuries.

Get proper training

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Lack of proper training and the dearth of knowledge about the correct postures and handling the machines could be dangerous. Many accidents and health concerns occur due to this. Therefore,workout under the guidance of a trained professional to learn the techniques correctly and stopself training merely by watching videos and reading advices over the Internet.

A warm up session is a must

You must dedicate at least 10 minutes in a warm up session before trying the mainstream exercises. A good warm session should include static jogging, walking or treadmill, a few freehand stretches or mild cycling. Warm up exercises prepares you for the actual workout training and boosts flexibility and mobility of your body. This way you can easily avoid muscle pulls, strains, backache, etc.

Cool your body after working out

A cooling session is as important as a warm up session. Your body becomes vulnerable to injuries when you do not cool it properly after exercise. After you are done, lay down on the floor to restore normal breathing and heartbeat. A 10 minute breathing pranayama session would do wonders.

Handle the workout equipment carefully in a gym

Gym mishaps are not uncommon and happen mostly due to mishandling of the fitness equipments due to negligence. Always remember, trial and error theory is not applicable here. Take help from your gym instructor if you are in doubt, not sure about the handling process or for any other assistance while using the treadmill, elliptical, lifting weights or working out on equipments.

Be aware of your surroundings

While working out in a group or in public places like fitness studios and gyms, make sure you have proper control of your surroundings. Do not dash into people or hurt yourself with the equipments while performing any kind of mobile or immobile moves. The only way you can avoid such injuries is by increasing your concentration, focus and self awareness.


It is very important for the body to receive proper nutrition. This is because exercise may cause your body to access the fat cell energy reserves. This causes depletion of readily available glycogen causing muscle collapse during a workout. This will lead to painful muscle tears that take time to heal. Thus, feed your body with the much needed protein, that can help repair any damage to the muscle fiber.

Keep yourself hydrated before and during your workouts. This will keep your systems from working fine and avoid shutting down in the form of an injury. Always seek expert help before you dive into any workout plan. This will help you avoid injury when working out.

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Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: April 18, 2015