Exercise and fitness are crucial to maintaining your health, but if you happen to sustain an injury caused by your dedication to exercising, things might get pretty rough both physically and emotionally. Unfortunately, avoiding injury altogether is a challenge because of the fact that the smallest mistake, miscalculation, or slip in timing can cause it, even if you are a highly seasoned athlete.
Prevention is cure
Taking a few necessary precautions will go a long way in helping you complete your targeted workout without any mishap. Firstly, always consult a physician. This is especially true for people over the age of 40, or if you have sustained a serious injury at any time in your life. A physician will recommend or sideline specific exercises or muscles so that you don’t start following a regime that will do more harm than good.
Secondly, warm up. The importance of a good stretch or quick jog on the spot to get your heart beating cannot be stressed enough. Don’t dive head-first into a lunge or push-up session without preparing your body first. A slow cool-down also helps avoid muscle cramps after a workout, which is otherwise caused by a buildup of lactic acid in your muscles.
Thirdly, introspect. That doesn’t necessarily mean meditation, but listening to your body. If you feel a very sharp or very dull pain, dizziness, nausea, or feel like you’ve pushed something beyond your capacity, take a break. Choose building your stamina slowly over pulling your hamstring, which will take weeks to heal, or a sudden drop in blood sugar from over-exertion.
Lastly, don’t forget to eat. Eating healthy food and drinking water regularly is as important as the air you breathe. Your body needs fuel to function, and especially to exercise; otherwise, it’s no different from buying a car and not stopping at the gas station even when fuel is dangerously low – and a car is much more easily recovered than your body after a lack of energy, which can cause a blackout.
If you do injure yourself, follow the RICE regime: rest, ice, compression, elevate. Resting the injured part of the body is imperative to proper healing; even if that means skipping your exercise routine for a while, it is more than worth it if you want to prevent permanent or long-term injury. Ice will help provide instant relief from pain and swelling, and when combined with compression, is even more effective. It works by reducing the blood flow to the injury site and has a temporary numbing effect. Elevating the injured limb above the heart level also reduces blood flow. A serious injury that causes uncontrollable pain or bleeding must be examined by your doctor. If, after several weeks, your healing is slow, a chiropractor doctor such as those at Healthquest Chiropractic may be able to expedite the process and manage your discomfort.
Injuries from exercise are common and exasperating, but with due care and learning from your mistakes, you can alter your routine to suit your capacity and body. The role of a good doctor in consultation and healing is potentially life-changing, so be sure to seek help as and when you require it.