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Healthy Habits: How-Tos

5 Smart Moves to Prevent Workout Pains

Don’t let soreness or an injury sideline your fitness routine. Learn how to keep aches at bay.

With summer just around the corner, you might be planning to step up your workouts. But soreness -- or even worse, an injury -- can prevent you from sticking with your exercise routine. “There’s a fine ogy at Selkirk College in British Columbia. Follow these tips to keep your fitness routine as pain-free as possible.
To increase your fitness level, you have to push your body past its current limits. But doing too much too fast will just leave you sore and put you at risk for injury. Your best bet: Increase the intensity of your workout a little bit each week to get into better shape, without hurting yourself. Says Roberts: “The idea is to fatigue yourself, without getting to the point where you’re totally exhausted.”

Many people make the mistake of using weights that are too heavy, which leads to poor form. That, in turn, can cause injury. “It’s much more important to use the correct technique than it is to lift heavy weights,” says Roberts. “Ultimately, if you don’t have the form down right, you’re going to get hurt.” Perfect your moves with lighter weights before upgrading to heavier ones.

You’ve probably heard not to push your knees past your toes when squatting or doing similar exercise. But Roberts also suggests this glute exercise to further protect against injury: Put a snug-fitting elastic ban for about a second before returning to standing. Repeat 10 times.

When you’re working out, you’re actually creating small tears in your muscles -- and they need time to rebuild before they can become stronger. If you exercise every day and never give yourself a break, your body won’t have a chance to fully repair itself. Take days off between strength-training sessions to let your body recuperate and to avoid injury.

If you don’t get a good night’s sleep, you’ll be tired during your workout, and your form will suffer. Whether your stride is a little off during your run or gnment when you’re doing lateral raises, you’re putting yourself at risk for injury. Go for a walk or do an easy workout when you’re exhausted and sleep-deprived, and save more intense exercise for after you’ve gotten a solid seven to eight hours of shut-eye.

About the Author

Robin Hilmantel is an associate editor at Food Network Magazine. Her work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, USA Today and Maxim, among other publications. She is a frequent contributor to Completely You.

 

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