In the pursuit of a healthier lifestyle, building an effective workout routine is crucial. Follow these tips to enhance your fitness experience and minimize your risk of injuries.
A warmup is a great way to get your body and your mind in the mood for working out. Dynamic stretches and light cardio are great ways of increasing joint flexibility, blood flow to muscles, and getting you energized for activity. Exercises like skipping, butt kicks, high knees, arm circles and trunk twists are all great ways to get your body primed for physical activity.
Focus on Functional Movements
Use body weight exercises and movements that mimic daily activities to improve the way you feel in your day-to-day life. Squats, lunges, deadlifts, squat-presses, incline push-ups and crunches are all great functional exercises. They engage multiple muscle groups, promoting strength, flexibility and stability.
Listen to your body
While pushing your limits is important for making progress, it is equally important to listen to the signals your body is giving you. Recognize discomfort vs pain. If an exercise is causing pain, modify the movement or consult a physiotherapist to prevent potential injuries. Don’t wait until the pain is limiting your ability to exercise.
Balance Strength and Flexibility
Use exercises that take your joints and muscles through a variety of movements and reasonably large ranges of motion. Incorporate stretches for muscles that feel particularly tight, and use strengthening exercises for areas that you know are very flexible. This is another area where an assessment from a physiotherapist could provide you with knowledge about your body and the areas that need addressing.
Avoid the temptation to rush into intense workouts. If you haven’t exercised for awhile, or you haven’t exercised intensely before, you need to build a strong base before your body will tolerate more intense exercise. Consulting a kinesiologist or physiotherapist who can help design a personalized program for you is a great idea.
Avoid the pitfall of using one form of exercise to get fit. Mix up your cardio routine with biking, jogging, calisthenics, skipping, etc. Alternate your gym workouts with yoga or pilates classes. By using different workouts, you avoid boredom and prevent your body from becoming accustomed to the ‘same old routine’. By doing this you can also prevent some of the repetitive strain injuries that go along with certain types of exercises.
Stretching, hydrating and foam rolling post-workout can all help to increase your fitness gains and decrease your chances of running into problems along the way. Perhaps regular massage treatments or relaxation techniques will help you to create a positive routine and reduce muscle tension.
Crafting a workout routine that aligns with your fitness goals while prioritizing safety and injury-prevention is key to creating a routine that you can stick with. By following these tips, you can optimize your workouts, realize progress towards your goals, and nurture an injury-resistant body.
For help along the way, consult one of our physiotherapists, kinesiologist, or registered massage therapist. Book your appointment online today by clicking HERE, or call 250-314-0788.