Injuries may be much more severe than stubbed toes or broken fingers. Some injuries have long-term health effects, leading to disability or death, depending on their severity. According to the CDC, injury is the leading cause of death among people aged 1 to 44 in the US.
Every day, both major and minor injuries happen. The good news is that they are completely preventable if the proper measures are taken. Here’s what you can do to prevent injuries that people face.
12 ways to prevent injuries
Here are 12 tips everyone should follow to prevent injuries:
- Talk to your doctor
Do not begin any exercise program without first consulting with your primary care physician. Your doctor can determine if you’re well enough to work out and what, if any, changes you can make to your routine. Whenever necessary, exercise routines should be customized to the individual to account for any disabilities and ongoing medical problems.
- Make Sure You Have Protective Equipment
This should be obvious. But having the proper protective equipment is just as important. Make sure you have the proper equipment for the sport you’re playing. For example, don’t wear your baseball cleats on the football field. Moreover, the equipment should properly fit. Speak with your trainers to ensure that the equipment is well suited to you and meets the highest standards.
- Be Mindful at Work and Workout
Workplace injuries are more common than you would expect. In 2014, almost 3 million nonfatal workplace injuries or illnesses were reported to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is about 3 out of every 100 employees.
Of course, your personal workplace hazard can vary depending on the job. For example, employees in the medical industry may be required to lift patients or equipment.
To prevent injuries:
- Know what you require
- Dress appropriately
- Never attempt to complete a physical task for which you are not qualified
- Always Warm Up and Cool Down
Getting your mind and body in order before and after a workout is one of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent injuries. A deliberate warm-up prepares the muscles, joints, and connective tissues for the work that is about to begin. Every warm-up should include dynamic mobility exercises that target the major muscle groups involved in the day’s workout, such as leg swings, arm circles, or inch-worms. The goal is to steadily increase your heart rate and blood flow to loosen and awaken your muscles and joints.
You mustn’t immediately get into your car or sit in front of a monitor or television for hours after your workout. Cool down with dynamic stretches or light aerobic work like walking, rowing, or cycling to gradually transition from a highly active to a resting state.
- Always Start and End with Stretching
If you think back to gym class, you’ll remember that you always began with arm circles and hamstring stretches. Your physical education instructor was on to something. Unfortunately, we forget these lessons as adults. You may have skipped stretching in a hurry to fit in your 30-minute exercise into the 20 minutes you have after work and putting the kids to bed.
Stretching improves the range of motion, increases blood supply to the muscles, and improves overall performance. Hold and stretch for at least 30 seconds, breathe normally through the stretches, and repeat before and after the workouts.
- Invite your SO or Friend to Join In
Having an accountability partner is another great way to guarantee safety during a workout. Practically speaking, you can keep an eye out for each other, spot during weightlifting, and alert each other to literal bumps in the road during your outdoor run.
Having an accountability buddy will also help you remain committed to your workout routine, allowing you to gain strength and muscle with each workout.
The healthier you are, the more healthy your muscles will be, and the less often you will be injured. According to research, this kind of support system is the most important factor in achieving long-term health results.
- Eat and Drink Healthy
You can feel the workout’s results long after you’ve put down the free weights. However, if you want to feel comfortable after working out, you must also pay attention to what you eat. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fish, and simple carbohydrates will enable your muscles to recover properly.
Dehydration can result from a lack of water. This can cause muscle cramping and joint pain. Staying hydrated during and after your exercise will prevent injuries and aches.
Athletes who practice for a long period of time suffer from more injuries. Many athletes believe that the more they train, the better they will play. This is a common misconception. Rest is an essential component of good training. Rest can help you get healthier and prevent injuries caused by overuse, fatigue, and poor judgment.
- Dress for Your Sport
A lack of proper equipment, such as clothing and shoes, causes many sports injuries. Whatever activity you’re doing, make sure you have the right clothes and footwear for the sport. There’s an explanation why biking shorts are padded or why certain clothing is made to wick sweat.
You don’t have to pay a lot to get the “right” brand. Simply look for one that offers protection against impact, pressure, or overheating. If you’re not sure what to get, talk to a trainer who can point you in the right direction.
Working out is an essential aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, injury, soreness, or pain may quickly derail it.
- Give yourself a massage
It’s a costly habit, but one that’s well worth it. Plan a massage to help you get through the season’s key points. Massage speeds up the recovery process, which, when combined with regular stretching, should keep you flexible and injury-free.
- Watch for symptoms of overtraining, which is common in triathletes.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, aren’t enjoying your workouts, have an elevated heart rate in the morning, or are continuously grumpy, you’re probably over-trained. The remedy for these signs is to ease back or take a break. Now and then, a nap is more effective than a workout. A particular training session may not improve your performance, but it may injure you.
Factors That Increase Your Risk of Injuries
We can learn a lot about the source of an injury through research. When it comes to predicting an injury, two factors stand out from the rest. They are as follows:
- Having a history of injury. For certain people, previous muscle or joint injuries become recurring problem areas. It is important to warm up and stretch previously injured areas.
- A vast number of days of training in a row. Enable the muscles and connective tissue to regenerate between exercises on recovery day to reduce the risk of injury.
The Bottom Line
Nobody wants to be disabled by an injury or illness, especially a sportsperson who has trained long and hard to accomplish their goals. None of the top 12 prevent injuries tips are difficult to achieve, or will take up a lot of your valuable time, or will cost you a lot of money. But they will all help you reap long-term benefits by enabling you to continue doing what you love week in and week out. At last, train hard, but do so carefully.