We love to see our patients living healthy, active lives and getting in excellent shape. It isn’t just about physical health – regular exercise also provides serious mental health benefits, as well. At Lake Shore Physical Therapy, we want you to avoid exercise mistakes that lead to pain, discomfort and injury.
Finally, it seems we’re reaching the end of a long, cold winter. Temperatures are beginning to rise, our days are getting longer and we’re going to be spending a lot more time outside. Therefore, more and more of us will be re-implementing dormant exercise routines. Whether cardio or weight lifting (or both), spring is very often a time of renewed interest in diet and exercise.
Obviously, we’ll never discourage anyone from fresh air or exercise Enthusiasm is great. But you shouldn’t overdo it and get so caught up that you hurt yourself. In this post, we’ll outline common exercise mistakes and how to prevent them.
1. Skipping the Warm-Up
Have you ever heard anyone insist that warming up is unnecessary? Well, this is a total fitness myth and you should ignore it. In fact, skipping an effective warm-up may be the leading cause of exercise injuries. Therefore, to prevent an unfortunate acute or chronic injury, make sure you warm up properly with dynamic stretches.
Dynamic stretches incorporate movements that stimulate heart rate, blood flow, muscle temperature, breathing and more while lengthening your muscles. These take no longer than five or ten minutes and include shoulder circles, calf pumps, head turns, trunk twists and more. You can actively stretch and protect your muscles with simple warm-up measures and prevent serious sports injuries, as well.
2. Overdoing the Weights
We get it – you want to bulk up and impress everyone with your bulging muscles. Lifting weights is fantastic, and something we’ll never attempt to discourage. However, it can be very tempting to run before you can walk, so to speak. Often, in an attempt to see visible results quickly, many people grab the weights they’re not ready for. Lifting weights that are too heavy is incredibly risky and usually dangerous. The question of intensity versus consistency is an important one, and something weight lifters everywhere frequently debate.
Building muscle isn’t a quick, overnight process. In fact, the most effective and rewarding results are the ones achieved through a gradual, conscientious process. When lifting, you should be able to maintain proper form, posture and technique. Start with lighter weights and a lot of repetitions to develop a baseline of strength. Then, you can increase the weight and decrease the repetitions. This will prevent injuries to your shoulders, back and countless other areas that heavy weights can affect.
3. Improper Nutrition/Dehydration
We can’t expect a healthy body without a healthy diet. What we put into our body dictates its’ ability to resist illnesses and injuries, and exercise effectively. Therefore, you should always compliment your exercise routine with proper nutrition and stay hydrated, as well. Food and water fuels our muscles – you can protect them with a good diet, lots of water and prevent any unfortunate mishaps, too.
Usually, most of us have an accurate, common-sense idea of what is or isn’t beneficial to eat. Of course, you should avoid processed foods and sugars. Additionally, remember to work towards finding a balance of fruits, vegetables, proteins, whole grains and healthy fats. And it goes without saying that consistent water intake is essential to avoiding dehydration and keeping your muscles in excellent shape.
Conclusion – Lake Shore Physical Therapy
Exercise your heart out, but do it safely and intelligently! Also, remember to conclude each workout/exercise session with a cool-down to wrap everything up. At Lake Shore Physical Therapy, we can help strengthen your body in order to better resist injury or restore its ability to exercise effectively. Our certified therapists are always ready to assist patients in treatment programs that utilize the body’s natural ability to heal without invasive surgeries or intoxicating medications.