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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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Endurance athletes who take part in marathons, triathlons or century bike rides typically have fitness goals of strength and stamina. Your body needs to be strong enough to carry you long distances, and it needs to have the proper training in order to function for extended periods of time.
Before a race it’s crucial to plan a training program to prepare, and most of this will include running or cycling through intervals of faster and slower speeds, up and down hills and longer and shorter distances. It should also include cross training with strength exercises and core workouts such as Pilates for total body training.
Another factor that should be included in a pre-race program is athletic recovery and stretching. Whether you’re a new or seasoned endurance athlete, you’ll be putting your body through more intense challenges, which is sure to leave you with sore muscles from time to time, but it can also increase your risk of injury. To prevent getting hurt and having a setback, you need to take the proper precautions, which include stretching and massage.
A century bike ride will take you 100 miles, and it will certainly test your mental and physical prowess. This may seem like a lofty goal, but it’s certainly an achievable one that many endurance cyclists aspire to complete.
Being able to bike 100 miles requires serious commitment, dedication, planning and training. Once you decide to take part in a century ride, you need to starting working at least eight weeks beforehand to prepare your mind and body for the challenge ahead. Your training program should consist of long and short rides as well as intervals of different speeds, resistance levels, terrain and hills. It’s also a good idea to cross training with weight lifting to strengthen your muscles and exercises such as Pilates that provide stretching and improve posture.
Another key component is nutrition. Your body won’t be able to last long if it is not being fueled properly. Even slight dehydration can completely zap your energy levels and cause sore musclesand cramps. If this does happen, giving your muscles a massage can help. Additionally, eating the right amount of carbohydrates and fats is needed to fuel your muscles and provide you with the nutrients to keep you going mile after mile. You’ll certainly want to pack snacks to stop and eat during your ride to replenish fuel sources, curb hunger pangs and boost energy. Remember not to pack any foods that are too heavy or hard to transport. A muffin may sound delicious, but it can be messy to eat. Also, be sure not to try any new foods in case it affects your stomach negatively and you have to stop mid-race.
Here are some tasty, helpful snack options to pack for your century ride:
Whether you’re preparing for a cycling race, training for a triathlon or simply appreciate the exhilarating cardio workout you get from riding, your body (the lower half in particular) is certainly being challenged.
Most of your focus will be on the meat of your training – developing programs for each ride to incorporate different terrain, speeds, hills and other aspects of riding itself. But it’s also important to remember that your training doesn’t stop once your session ends. In fact, time spent after you hop off your bike is just as important as time spent on the saddle. Cooling down and taking part in athletic recovery reduces your risk of sore muscles and injuries, which can sideline you and set you back in your schedule. This is especially problematic if you are on a deadline for a race.
After each bike ride you should be taking the time to stretch out your muscles and allow your mind and body to return to their resting states. It’s also useful to incorporate self massage into your routine each week, especially after an intense ride. Massage will help loosen up muscles even further, which is important so you don’t create any imbalances.
There are several key muscles you should focus your massager on after a bike ride: