As the weather improves outside, many people are inspired to get outside and get moving. If you are planning on working out this spring, either individually or as a part of a team, there are a few things that you can do to help ensure that you don't hurt yourself when you pick up your workouts.
Always Take Time to Warm Up & Cool Down
You should always warm up and cool down your body before and after workouts. If you are taking a class or participating in a program that doesn't build in warm-up and cool down time into their program, get there a little early and stay a little late and add in your own warm-up and cool-down.
Before you start working out, take a quick light walk or jog and stretch the muscles groups you'll work out. At the end of your workout, take another light jog or walk. This will help allow acid that can build up in your muscles to dissipate and help prevent soreness as well.
Stay Hydrated as You Work Out
When you know you are going to work out, take steps to stay hydrated throughout the day. Drink lots of water before you work out, during, and after your work out. Staying hydrated will ensure that you don't pass out from working too hard. Staying hydrated will also help your muscles heal and grow properly, which is an important component for preventing injuries.
Learn How to Do Things Correctly
If you are partaking in a new sport or class, make sure that you learn how to do things correctly. For example, if you are doing strength training for the first time, make sure that you have someone coach and assist you with using the gym equipment correctly. Learn and master the techniques. Knowing how to do techniques correctly, as they were intended, will help protect your muscles.
Listen to Yourself
Finally, make sure that you listen to yourself. Learn the different between pushing yourself in a healthy manner and pushing yourself past your limits. It is one thing to finish up when you are starting to feel tired, it is another to drive yourself past the point of exhaustion. Learn to listen to your body, and stop before you strain or hurt yourself.
When working out, although take the time to warm up and cool down; this will help protect your muscles. Keep hydrated and listen to your body as you work out. Always stay hydrated.
For more information, contact a sports medicine professional.