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Staying Healthy @ Fitness Incentive

Here are a few simple rules to help you stay injury free at the gym!

-Andrea Kay

Ohana Endurance Training Team of Long Island

Injury Prevention Infographic

The most frequent gym related injuries are caused by overuse.  Repetitive movements over the course of time leave you at risk for straining your muscles and ligaments.  Vary your routine.  If you only ever do spin class, try yoga.  If you only run on the treadmill, try a HIIT class.  Varying your routine, ensures you are using different muscles and decreases your risk of injury.

Even losing 1% of your body water content to sweat can put you at risk for illness and injury.  Reduce the risk of injury and stay hydrated!

I think everyone would agree that stretching is a good thing, but what is often overlooked is warming up prior to stretching.  Yes, before any kind of physical activity, including stretching, the body needs to be warmed up with some light exercise. Walking, jogging on the treadmill or doing jumping jacks for a few minutes will warm up muscles. Once muscles are warm, they’re ready for stretching.

Proper form  minimizes the risk of injury.  No matter what you are doing; running, yoga, weights… even spin class, always be mindful of your form.  If you are taking a class, make sure you stand by the instructor and ask them before class to keep an eye on you.  If you are using the weight machines, review the picture guides on each machine.  As free-weights have no picture guides, and you doubt your ability to keep good form, consider hiring a personal trainer.  The up-front investment will be worth it in the long run.

Take your recovery days.  It’s as simple as that.  Schedule it into your routine, but also listen to your body.  If it’s telling you to take a rest day and it’s not time for your rest day… take your rest day.  Remember, if you get injured, the choice is no longer yours to make.

Don’t know enough about supplements to make an informed decision about proper workout recovery.

When it comes to supplements, don’t guess! At the very least, you could be wasting your money.  At most, you could be risking heath issues. Consult Liz Keller, the new Eat Smart nutritionist at FI.  She’ll be able to set you up with a recovery protocol to fit your unique needs and goals.

About the Author…

Andrea Kay

Andrea Kay is a longtime FI member, Tri-Athlete, 50k runner and a regular contributor to Fit to Print.

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