Few things will set your exercise routine back, like being injured. Taking a few precautions can go a long way toward keeping you healthy. In this article, captain Jako Hall offers recommendations about avoiding injuries that could derail your exercise plan.
While there is an element of truth in the adage “no pain, no gain,” don’t over-apply that idea. When you start a new exercise program, especially if you were sedentary before beginning to exercise, you can expect some sore muscles or stiffness for a day or two afterwards. But, if you push yourself to the point where you experience pain while exercising, you’re probably overdoing it and run the risk of serious injury.
Whether or not you’re overdoing it can depend on the type and severity of the pain you experience and the kind of activity you are doing. When you push your muscles to work beyond their ability to use the oxygen in your blood, you’re creating lactic acid, and this gives you a burning sensation. Seasoned athletes recognize this as healthy fatigue or a good workout.
On the other hand, if you are engaged in pushing yourself hard during an aerobic session, and you feel pain in your heart, stop what you’re doing.
Tip #1. Wear the right clothing
Exercising is not the right time to value fashion over function. Wearing the right shoes and clothes can make the difference between having an effective workout and causing an injury. For shoes especially, talk to a professional. A running store or another shop that specializes in athletic gear can offer advice about the right type and fit of shoe for the exercises you plan to do.
For clothing, consider the temperature during your routine. For example, it may feel chilly when you begin a run, but think about how you’ll feel once you’re warmed up. Don’t overdress and use layers that you can remove as you go.
It would be best if you also considered chaffing. If your clothes rub you raw while exercising, it may be weeks before you’ll be able to repeat that routine comfortably.
Tip #2. Always warm-up
You likely know the importance of warming up, so don’t skip it even if you are pressed for time. Without a thorough warm-up, you will put pressure on your muscles, possibly resulting in injuries and strains. Start your workout with a gentle five-minute stretch. Low-impact cardio is a great way to loosen up and get ready for the more intense part of your workout.
Tip #3. Change your routine
You don’t necessarily need to take a rest day to function at your peak, but you will need to change up your routine so that each major muscle group gets a rest for a day or two after a strenuous workout.
For weight lifting, this might mean working on the different parts of your body each day. Runners will find it helpful to limit back-to-back long runs and intersperse hills and sprints to work other muscles.
However you plan your routine, make sure you don’t repetitively overwork any muscles. Any gain you may feel you made by pushing too hard will be lost during recovery if you injure yourself.
About Jako Hall
Captain Jako Hall is an experienced mariner and a former naval officer known for his strong work ethic and ability to lead and motivate crews. He pursued Maritime Studies at the University of Technology in Cape Town and has received the highest level of training in Navigation and Seamanship during his years in the Navy. After 13 distinguished years in the Navy, Jako joined the superyacht industry, following his passion for creating unique and exclusive experiences for high-net-worth clients. He’s managed multi-million euro projects that required attention to detail and efficiency and has a proven track record of operating at sea in remote and unsupported areas.