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No matter what stage you're at in your fitness plan, injuries can leave you down for the count, putting a hold on exercise until you're healed. With your busy lifestyle, you don't need another obstacle to stand in the way of your daily physical activity. Fortunately, with a few prevention tactics, you can make sure your body is always ready for the next workout. Check out these three tips for avoiding exercise-related injuries:
1. Get a massage
Massage therapy has obvious benefits of relaxation and pain relief, but did you know you can use it as an injury-prevention tool, too? Dr. Frank Lipman, an expert in integrative and functional medicine, explained that muscle tension and lack of flexibility may make you more prone to exercise-induced injuries. Massage therapy increases blood flow and range of motion, effectively loosening those tight muscles and readying your body for physical activity. Use this prevention technique in your workout routine with a Moji personal massager, targeting any especially sore spots.
2. Always warm up
Completing a few brief exercises before your main workout is crucial for preventing injury. Sports Medicine Information noted that warmups get the heart pumping and increase circulation to literally warm the muscles. When athletes do this, they gradually get the body into physical-activity mode, which helps avoid acute and overuse injuries.
Your warmup exercises should correspond with the workout. After all, swimming laps in the pool requires the use of different muscles than competing on the tennis court. For example, before playing a round of golf, warmup the appropriate muscles and joints with knee circles, pelvic rockers, side bending, cross body swings, door knob rotations and head rolls. If you plan on spending the afternoon hiking at a state park, prepare your body with ankle rockers, knee circles, leg swings across and forward, trunk rotations, arm swings and chin to chest exercises.
3. Use the right form
Incorrect technique is a major cause of exercise-related injuries. While correcting your form is the obvious solution to this predicament, it's not always so easy. For instance, those with a brand new gym membership may not know the proper technique for certain exercises, or already-poor posture can contribute to bad form overall.
If you're worried about injuring your body by not practicing the proper movements during physical activity, consult with a personal trainer. These experts can teach you the right way to exercise while helping you meet fitness goals. Outside of the gym, be sure to work on your posture. The Mayo Clinic advised pulling in your belly, keep your shoulders back and loose and align your feet with your hips when standing.
Injuries are not only painful, but they add another obstacle to your workout routine. Exercise safely and properly prepare your body for physical activity to reduce your risk of getting hurt. If you do end up with an injury, let it heal completely before exercising again.
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No matter what level at which athletes compete – from pee-wee football to high school basketball and marathon running – injuries are almost unavoidable. While concussions have been the focal point of the media, other less life-threatening injuries are just as apparent, if not even more common. In fact, according to 2013 report by Safe Kids Worldwide, strains or sprains, fractures, and contusions and abrasions are the top three most frequently occurring sports-related injuries in athletes ages 6 to 19.
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