New Exercise Program? Stay Injury Free

A quick guide to avoiding injury when you start a new exercise or training program.

Alright, are you all ready for some real talk? Here it is: no one wakes up with the ability to run a half marathon. No one rolls out of bed able to bench-press their body weight for ten reps. No one has ever magically gained the ability to finish a triathlon in record time. The truth is, even elite athletes have to start somewhere, and usually that somewhere is right at the very bottom.

But imagine if you did just wake up one day after a year or two of not exercising, and decide to run a half marathon… If you did complete the race, I’m willing to bet the next day would likely go down as one of your least favourite days. Ever.

Getting started with a new fitness program, or even just getting back to exercising after a bout of inactivity, requires the right approach. Here are a few tips everyone can benefit from to avoid injuries.

Take It Slow

People get all jacked up to get all jacked up, and they end up moving too fast with their program. If you’re running, add distance at small increments like 10% a week. If you are weight training or resistance training, try using a beginner’s program.

Stay Hydrated

If there’s one thing that CrossFit has taught me, it’s that mobility work is the cornerstone of remaining injury free. If you are not mobile enough to squat, and you squat, you are likely going to injure yourself. The internet is a magical place loaded with tips on how to stretch out before and after any exercise program or training regime; hit up your friend google and find one that works for you.

If It Hurts, Stop

There’s no such thing as “no pain, no gain.” Pain is your body’s way of saying “Hey, you’re doing something wrong here.” You wouldn’t keep your hand on a burning pot, so why keep running if it hurts your hip flexor? If you experience any kind of pain beyond muscle fatigue, it’s best to stop and probably a wise idea to check in with a physiotherapist.

Train With Heart Rate

When you first start out, it’s tough to know how hard you can push yourself. Training in proper heart rate zones can help you hit your threshold without going over, especially when it comes to running and other cardio endurance work. Strap on your Mio, and get in the green and yellow zones. Work your way up, and eventually get into the purple.

You’re full of gumption. And now you’re equipped with the proper tips to stay injury free. All that’s left is to get out there and do it. So… go do it!

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