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Whether you’re a weekend warrior or an athlete, the most important thing when you exercise is to keep yourself safe. Two major reasons for sports injuries are not being properly conditioned or prepared for your activity of choice. For many who start an exercise routine, they do too much too soon. It is important to check in with yourself and follow the advice of a professional to guide you through the process.
For example, there are many fitness professionals who specialize in running, biking and even rock climbing. A coach or trainer in a specific category can help you set realistic goals and give you a clear path or plan on how to get to those goals. They can also literally show you the ropes to climb to the top of your game. They will have the inside scoop on where to get the proper equipment and protective gear for your sport. The last thing you want is for your momentum to be discouraged by an injury early on in your journey.
It is also extremely important that you warm-up prior to playing any particular sport. A warm-up prepares your body both physically and mentally for your workout. A warm-up is also important to increase your body temperature, especially in cooler climates, and prepare the joints, muscles, and connective tissues for the intense portion of your workout. The warm-up should start gradually at a mild intensity, then leading to a moderate intensity. I always advise clients to stretch after the warm-up, that way you are not stretching a cold muscle. It is also important to stretch following your workout and cool down and prevent injury.
Rest is also of utmost importance. You should not be doing the same activity seven days a week without proper downtime to repair and recover. This can result in chronic injuries. Chronic injuries are often referred to as overuse injuries and are typically a repetitive micro-trauma to the skeletal, muscle or joint systems. A chronic injury usually starts as a nagging ache or pain and can eventually progress into a much more severe injury if left untreated. This is basically an injury that will not go away.