Your joints enable you to do your daily activities efficiently. However, even if this combination of bones, muscles, and tendons is essential to one’s well-being, a lot of people still neglect to practice proper care for their joints, especially when exercising. This leads to injuries that severely hamper their movement temporarily.
You have to be mindful of your body when doing rigorous routines, particularly high-impact ones. Aside from that, if you’re already experiencing some problems with these parts of your body, you should prevent the worsening of your condition by taking vitamins and supplements that promote joint health. This way, you won’t feel any discomfort or pain when working out.
Here are ways to avoid joint injuries when doing intense exercise:
1. Prepare Your Muscles Before And After A Workout
Warm-ups and cool-downs aren’t imposed by your gym instructor or trainer to prolong your agony. These starter and ender routines are required to uphold your physical wellbeing, especially for your joints.
Like a car engine, your body needs time to warm itself up before it can take on a more rigorous routine. Something as simple as stretching your limbs and rotating your joints can prepare your muscles for the workout ahead.
On the other hand, you should also give yourself time to cool down after a particularly strenuous session at the gym or health center. Your body remains to be in momentum, so you shouldn’t stop abruptly. Give your muscles and joints time to ease into a calm state after being pumped up for your fitness regimen.
2. Understand Your Body’s Limitations
Human bodies deteriorate as they grow older, that’s why you should get to know your body objectively. Figure out the exercise routines that work best for you, as well as the ones that don’t suit your physical needs.
This way, you don’t overexert yourself and injure yourself by trying to complete something that’s not suitable for your health condition. For most people who have joint problems, it’s best to avoid high-impact exercises, such as running and gymnastics. Ideal workouts for you would be yoga, Pilates, and cycling.
3. Perform The Right Form And Technique
Improper form and technique can lead to joint problems, like tendinitis. That’s why it’s better for beginners to enlist the help of a trainer to ensure that they perform the routines correctly.
Even if you look in the mirror while working out, you still run the risk of unwittingly pulling a muscle when lifting or stretching inaccurately. You should know the right muscles to use when doing these types of exercises to avoid rupturing your joints.
4. Wear Appropriate Workout Gear
More than for taking IG-worthy snaps of yourself at the gym, your workout outfit must have both form and function. You should wear the right type of shoes, with foam to cushion the impact when your feet hit the floor. Proper footwear is an excellent way to eliminate the risk of developing problems with your heel.
Support for your knees, elbows, and wrists are also valuable if you frequently use these parts of your body. For your shoulders, make sure that your shirt allows you to move freely and without constriction.
5. Mix Up Your Regimen
Doing just one set of exercise routine might be fine if you’re still a beginner. However, you should still make sure that it hits all of your muscles. Targeting a single body part increases the risk of overusing and damaging it.
As you strengthen your body, you should aim to mix up your workouts to ensure that your physical development is balanced. This means that all your muscles are fortified, not just one section. Plus, this keeps your appearance from looking disproportioned.
If you do experience joint pain after exercising, these are the first-aid steps that you can do:
- Rest – As much as possible; avoid activities where you need to use the injured joint. This means refraining from exercising too soon. Give your body some time to recover and don’t exacerbate the problem by abusing it.
- Ice – Next, press an ice pack on the affected area to ease the swelling and muscle spasm. You can do this several times a day. Just make sure to limit it to 20 minutes per session so that you don’t burn your skin.
- Compression – Swelling can also be assuaged by applying pressure on the injured joint. Compression wraps or elastic bandages are ideal for this task.
- Elevation – If you’re experiencing problems in your lower joints, like your knees or heels, you should try elevating it to control the blood flow, which plays a significant role in the inflammation of the injured area. Keep your leg above the level of your heart.
6. Eat A Balanced Diet And Stay Hydrated
A balanced diet is crucial for your body’s wellbeing. If you plan on doing intense exercise, you should nourish your body properly by eating protein and carbohydrates to replenish the glycogen stores to help you recover quickly.
You should also avoid foods that cause inflammation, such as fried and processed food. Sugars and refined carbohydrates are also major no-nos. Conversely, you ought to eat anti-inflammatory foods, like green leafy vegetables, fatty fish, and spices, like turmeric.
Meanwhile, water is an essential element for your bodily functions. It also helps you keep inflammation at bay by providing your joints with enough fluid for lubrication.
7. Consult Your Doctor
If you’re already having minor problems with your joints, you should talk with your doctor to ensure that you don’t overuse your muscles and tendons. They can also recommend exercise regimens that work well for your condition and help you create a diet that will ensure healthy limbs.
Your joints enable you to perform your daily activities with ease. Injuring them can hinder you from living your life to the fullest. If you’re planning on doing intensive exercises, you should make sure to warm up and cool down before and after your workout. This gives your body time to prepare and calm down, respectively.
Make sure to listen to your body and understand its limitations. You should also enlist the help of a trainer to ensure that you do the right forms and techniques. Taking care of your joints entails being mindful about what you eat as well.