5 Ways to Have a Safe Workout

I’m just 1 person who works out a lot, as you might have noticed. It’s so important to make sure to consider safety when you do anything physical. I’ve made plenty of mistakes in the past, like blowing out both knees at a trampoline park and having to do physical therapy for months. Here’s a helpful article from Men’s Journal about 15 Ways You Can Guarantee Yourself an Injury when working out. I admit to having done at least two of these. Don’t be one of those people. Work out smartly and safely. Below are some of my recommendations for being safe while getting fit. 

5 Ways to Have a Safe Workout

  1. Always warm up and cool down. Stretching and warming up your body before a workout is especially necessary for those of us who sit stiffly at our desks for much of a day. Warming up will help you avoid injuries from pulled muscles to much worse. Similarly, you need to cool down to give your heartrate a chance to slowly drop and keep your warm, exercised muscles from seizing up. 

  2. Use the right equipment, and check it before each use. From making sure your sneakers are tied well so you don’t turn an ankle to making sure a bicycle helmet is whole and fits snugly, you need to make sure that any equipment you use in a workout is good to use. There are many times you can substitute one thing for another. Sometimes hand weights can provide resistance the same way resistance bands would, and sometimes they can’t. Sometimes you can use paper plates or a towel instead of sliders on the floor. But if a workout calls for an exercise mat, take the instructor’s advice and use an exercise mat. Your knees, wrists, and back will thank you. 

  3. Dress safely when you work out outside. If you’re walking or jogging at a time of day or on a particularly cloudy day, make sure you have reflectors on your front and back so you can be seen, even if you plan to stick to a sidewalk. A headlamp and a safety whistle might be a good idea if you’re planning to travel on a trail you’ve never tried before. Also, make sure that if you’re wearing earbuds and listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks, the volume is down low enough for you to hear what’s going on around you.  Always be aware of your surroundings. 

  4. Work your way up slowly. As much as we might want to go from the couch to running a 5K overnight, your body will have a different opinion. When starting a workout routine, build the intensity slowly and give yourself permission to pull back and slow down if you need to. Even if you’re experienced at fitness, any time you get new equipment or try a new type of workout, start at the basic level and work your way up. It’s always best to go lighter at first and then add on weight if you feel strong enough rather than the other way around. There’s no shame in doing a low-impact or modified version even for some workouts you’ve done a hundred times. 

  5. It’s not cheating to take a rest day. It’s perfectly fine to take a few days off each week. Listen to your body, because it will tell you when it needs a rest. Not pushing your body too hard will help you prevent injuries. And if you absolutely don’t want to rest entirely, have a slow, gentle stretching day. Or take a gentle walk around your neighborhood. Or dance in your chair to some favorite songs and do some isometric, careful moves. 

What tip to stay safe when working out would you add to this list?

Photo by Ben Collins on Unsplash

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