Unfortunately, sports and injuries often go hand in hand and while some injuries are the unavoidable outcome of an accident there are times when injuries occur which could have been easily avoided if the correct precautions were taken beforehand. By following these 5 essential steps you can ensure that your body is fully prepared ensuring that youâ€™ll spend more time on the field than on the treatment table.
The idea behind a warm up is to prepare both your mind and body for what awaits. When you start to warm up your heart rate will begin to gradually increase and oxygen will be sent to the muscles preparing them for exercise. When warming up itâ€™s important to fully prepare the entire body and not just the main muscle groups that youâ€™ll be using.
You should start by stretching and work your way from your head to your toes or vice versa. Once your body is fully stretched you should begin to perform the same activity or use the same equipment as you would for your main exercise at a lower level of intensity, gradually increasing the pace to bring it in line with how youâ€™d expect to perform at your maximum level.
By the time youâ€™ve completed your warm up youâ€™ll be far less likely to suffer an injury as your muscles will be conditioned and ready for exercise.
Cooling down following exercise is sometimes overlooked and is one of the main reasons why people feel tender the following day after a workout. Essentially, a cool down is the opposite of the warm up and your aim here is to slowly return your breathing, heart rate and blood pressure levels to normal and to flush out any waste products and prevent the build-up of lactic acid. To warm down effectively simply repeat the main exercise youâ€™ve been performing at a lower level of intensity and combine this with some light stretching.
Mastering the correct technique will not only help your level of performance but itâ€™ll considerably reduce the risk of sustaining an injury. Many people sustain injuries by being overzealous and attempting to bite off more than they can chew without taking the time to consider how the exercise should be performed.
In order to learn the right techniques for your given sport or exercise you should seek the assistance of a qualified professional. By taking the time out at the beginning to gain a comprehensive understanding of how to execute the exercise or movement properly youâ€™ll reap the long term benefits of enhanced performance and less time recovering from injury.
Letting Your Body Recover
Arguably the most undervalued aspect of any training routine, rest is absolutely essential when it comes to allowing your body the time it needs to recover fully from the demands you put it under. Without periods of rest the microscopic damage that happens to your muscles during exercise will not be repaired and could lead to cumulative damage resulting in a weakened body that is far more likely to incur future injuries. Regardless of your levels of fitness you should include at least one full day of rest during each week.
The Importance of Good Nutrition
The saying you are what you eat couldnâ€™t got be more accurate and youâ€™ll only get out of your body what you put into it. A well throughout nutritional plan forms the foundations of any successful training routine and without it your body will become neglected and more likely to sustain injury or illness. You should aim to eat a well-balanced diet but you will require a larger intake of certain food groupâ€™s dependent on your given sport or exercise routine.
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This guest post was provided by The Academy Health Club who help people lead a fit and healthy life.