Exercise Safety Tips to Avoid Injury
By MrsDeeGee on June 18, 2014
It is perfectly healthy and normal to want to look and feel your best.
And while there is an abundance of information available out there designed to help you to lose weight and get fit, there is an important topic of discussion that often gets overlooked.
That topic is exercise safety.
Now I personally thought I had known a thing or two about exercise given that I had worked out on and off throughout my life. But if I am to be honest, I’ll admit that I had never given any thought to safety.
This is because I didn’t know it was necessary.
In fact, it took sitting through a rigorous curriculum at a formal school for personal training in order for me to gain awareness about how we unknowingly cause ourselves potential harm in our fitness programs that can easily be avoided with just a little bit of knowledge.
So since I am in a position to bring this information to you, I thought I'd take the liberty to share a few exercise safety tips that will help you to prevent an unnecessary (and unwanted) injury.
1 - Avoid Chewing Gum During Exercise
While it’s best to avoid having anything in your mouth when you are working out (since the likelihood of choking is much higher with the elevated level of breathing that accompanies exercise), it especially holds true for chewing gum.
Because of its flexible texture, gum can easily “mold” itself into your airway once it gets stuck. If this happens, the proper abdominal thrusts that often expel other solid objects (such as food) may not be enough to force out gum and therefore, can be fatal.
It isn’t something many people think about, but it does happen...and it's more common than you think.
If it’s possible for people to choke on their food while calmly sitting and dining, then understand that it can easily happen during exercise.
If you chew gum to help ease the discomfort of a dry mouth while you are exercising, consider instead using a hydrating mouth spray made with natural ingredients or keep some cool water around.
This is one costly mistake you'll want to avoid.
2 - Exercise Like a Beginner if You ARE a Beginner
While it may be tempting to want to jump right into a fitness program once the motivation to work out finally does arise, it's important to understand that if you are new to exercise, it's best to start slow and allow your body to adapt to the new demands being placed on it.
Exercise places stress on your heart, muscles, bones and joints. If you aren’t accustomed to this level of stress, it’s critical that you ease your way into a fitness routine with care by allowing yourself to start with a program designed for beginners.
Whether you are starting an in-home work out program or attending a class, the best way to go about this is to become familiar with the proper form while gradually increasing your level of intensity and difficulty as you progress.
This way, you will succeed in avoiding an injury. You also won’t be tempted to quit due to not being able to keep up.
3 – Know the Difference Between “Good and Bad” Exercise Pain
While the term “no pain no gain” is a common thing to say in regard to exercise, the fact is that this mindset can cause more harm than good if taken too literally.
Although it’s normal for muscles to feel stress sometimes during and after a workout, the truth is that not all pain is created equal.
“Good” pain feels as though you’ve worked hard and may show up in the form of muscle soreness in the next day or so. The overall feeling is that you had a great workout and you challenged yourself.
“Bad” pain lets you know that something isn’t right. Anything that feels like an oncoming muscle cramp, tear, pull or strain is an example of bad exercise pain…and deserves to be taken seriously. The overall feeling is one that screams for you to stop what you are doing right away and go no further (even if your trainer tells you differently).
Keeping it Simple
It is always wise to listen to your body and respect what it’s telling you.
It is far better to do things this way than to risk an injury that may keep you bedridden and out of commission for days, weeks or perhaps longer.