Sure, you exercise every day, but are you doing it right? Not exercising correctly can greatly diminish the benefits of exercise and even lead to injury. Whether you run, swim, lift weights, or do yoga, following these guidelines will help you get the most out of your workout.
Warm up correctly. Most people warm up by holding stretches and counting to ten. Don’t be one of them. This is called “static stretching” and it can weaken or injure your muscles, especially if done at the beginning of a workout before your muscles have warmed up and become flexible. A more effective warm up technique is “dynamic stretching:” jogging, lunges, jumping jacks—easy exercises that keep your body moving and limber you up without shocking your muscles.
Exercise correctly. For one thing, don’t keep doing the same workout every time. You’ll only be working on one skill and one set of muscles, and eventually you’ll plateau and stop improving. Vary your workouts from day to day or week to week. Or you can vary the length and intensity of your favorite workout. Doing different workouts will increase your physical fitness more than doing the same thing over and over again. Also, look up the correct way to do your favorite exercises. Bad form will prevent you from improving and may lead to injury.
Cool down correctly. Spending a few minutes cooling down after a workout will help your body get rid of the lactic acid you build up while exercising intensively. That way your muscles can start repairing themselves faster and you won’t be as sore afterwards. Now is the time to do static stretches. Just don’t overstretch; hold your stretch for no more than fifteen seconds at a level that doesn’t cause pain.
Injury is still possible even if you follow these tips. If it happens, Neighbors is here to help. We offer 24 hour emergency care in Houston and Austin, so you can get back on your feet in as little time as possible.