Knowing how to prevent injuries in sports and exercise is vital to staying healthy and active. CNN’s feature on avoiding workout injuries highlights how common soft tissue injuries are while exercising or playing sports. Injuries such as hamstring strains, tennis elbow, or ankle sprains occur most during workouts but can also happen randomly and when you least expect them. It’s essential to take any injuries seriously when they do occur to prevent them from getting worse over time.
However, it’s not just injuries you should watch out for. Certain bad habits can cause put us in poor condition before we exercise, minimizing its efficacy and even causing long-term harm if unchecked. Today, we’ll look at four bad habits that affect your workouts and how you can break them:
1. Unhealthy Eating
A healthy diet should complement your exercise routine. Some people tend to rely on exercising to make up for eating foods high in calories. While this can help, realizing that the relationship between nutrition and exercise works both ways is essential. Eating healthy gives your body the energy to do your exercises efficiently. An exercise routine can also encourage you to eat healthily, as your body needs more nutrients to maximize your workouts. It’s important to remember that maintaining a bad diet is also associated with an increased risk of severe conditions, including heart disease and cancer, which can impact your long-term ability to stay fit.
Insights from the American Society for Nutrition indicate that healthy diets rich in antioxidants — like the Mediterranean diet — have a positive impact on physical fitness. The high-quality nutrient intake associated with the diet, including ingredients such as olive oil, fruits, and vegetables, helps boost cardiorespiratory fitness and musculoskeletal fitness in adults. Other foods and diets will impact your health and wellness differently, so it’s crucial to understand your body’s needs. If you’re planning to build muscle, for example, try to eat more lean meat and foods high in protein.
Cigarette smoking can have immediate and long-term effects on physical exercise, including poor oxygen levels right after smoking, less endurance, and weakened stamina. This impact on your physical endurance won’t just affect your workouts but also your daily activities, such as walking up the stairs. Smoking can also increase lactic acid, which causes burning sensations in your muscles and soreness post-exercising. To maximize the health benefits of exercising, quitting smoking is best. You don’t have to quit cold turkey; many products today can help your quitting journey by easing your way into quitting instead of doing so abruptly.
Alternative nicotine products help by delivering small doses of nicotine without tobacco and smoke. Nicotine pouches are a popular choice for this. Prilla’s guide to using nicotine pouches highlights how they can be placed between your gum and lip for up to 30 minutes. This delivers nicotine orally instead of being inhaled directly into the lungs. Zyn nicotine pouches have become popular since their launch in the late 2010s. Like other brands, Zyn offers different flavors and nicotine strengths. Compared to traditional tobacco products, nicotine pouches are considered less risky. Other nicotine products include gums and lozenges. Rogue sells nicotine lozenges, tablets, and gum sold in various flavors and nicotine strengths, in two and four mg. Because these products also provide nicotine orally instead of through inhaled smoke, they can minimize the harmful effects of cigarette and tobacco smoking on your lungs. Healthier lungs will allow you to exercise more efficiently.
3. Not Resting
Allocating time for breaks and rest is essential. It can be easy to be too focused on your fitness that you forget to treat your body with gentleness. Overexercising can put your body in danger, especially if you aren’t used to it or don’t work out with a qualified trainer. Aside from physical effects, overexercising also impacts your mood and energy levels. This can carry over not only to your exercise routine but also to your work productivity and other daily activities. It’s critical to strike a balance between getting enough physical exercise to keep you moving and not too much that you experience pain or sore body parts.
We all need a break sometimes. Planning a day off from exercising at least once a week and, at minimum, one month off yearly can allow your body to recover from training and exercise. This is especially important for people not used to regular exercise or living sedentary lives. Exercising can be fun, but too much and you can injure yourself. Instead, take it slow and start with lighter exercises before moving on to heavier workouts. Resting when you do have an injury is crucial to let your body heal. It’s always best to warm up slowly and get the proper equipment to avoid recurring injuries or chronic pain as well.
4. Practicing Improper Form
Finally, this is a common mistake among beginners that, when it goes unchecked, can become a bad and dangerous habit. Most exercises require proper form, no matter how simple or light they look. This means the posture and specific positions of your body and limbs during the workout. Exercising improperly can render your efforts useless as you won’t engage the right muscles or body parts. It can even result in injuries such as tearing a muscle, ligament, or tendons, dislocating joints, and even fracturing or breaking a bone.
StudyFinds’ tutorial on the best ways to do push-ups highlights that having the proper form is the best way to ensure you get the most out of your push-ups. Like our tip on taking the time to rest, it’s always important not to rush and push yourself too much when exercising. If you can’t do 10 to 15 sets of a workout, try and start with five or fewer, and build from there. This will allow you to get into the proper form so that your exercise can bring results.
Article written by: Rosey Jamison