A lot of times people work out with the aim of losing weight. While losing weight is the point, weight should be lost the healthy way. A lot of times people tend to combine various ideas and opinions, from what they know, what they hear and what they read online and follow a combination of practices that may not always be right and get themselves injured.
Injuries do not only halt their fitness plan but can also bring some irreversible pains. Connector spoke with field experts to get a few tips on things to keep in mind while working out and what to do if you get yourself injured.
Yasmin Karachiwala, the franchise owner of The PAD suggests the following things while working out
“Ensure you're getting lots of water intake before, during and after your workout to flush out the toxins your body will be throwing out while you work out.”
“Everyone has some kind of exercise they love to do - yoga, pilates, cross fit, etc. Make sure to add strength training to your workout week, as this will protect you from losing bone density as you get older, which will eventually lead to osteoporosis, osteoarthritis.”
Incorporate exercise into your daily life.
“You don't need to find one hour every time you want to exercise. You can do 5 minutes, 10 times a day and it'll be good enough. If you work on the 20th floor, get off on 15 and walk up 5 floors, make sure you get up and take a small stroll every hour instead of staying seated for hours at a stretch, do a few chair exercises on the spot.”
Don’t train everyday
“Your body needs a break at least one day of the week. It doesn't mean you can't do anything on that day, but take a walk or a run instead of hitting the gym for your rest day.”
Warm up and cool down
“The worst thing you can do for your body is start a high intensity exercise without warming up, and leave a high intensity workout without stretching. Ensure you take care of your body so that it can take care of you.”
Put your phone away
“Let your workout time be free from any distractions like social media, emails, phone calls.”
Bring variation in workout
“Don't keep doing the same exercises on repeat for weeks, your body will get used to it and you won't see a difference. For example, if you do pilates, don't keep doing the same exercises on the reformer. Ensure you're making use of the other equipment to challenge yourself and keep the workouts interesting.”
Don't copy online videos
It can be tempting to try a cool looking exercise a fitness trainer you follow on social media did. But you don't want to try this without the guidance of a professional.
Never hold your breath while working out. Inhale and exhale as deeply as possible, as this will improve the quality of your exercise.
Remain goal orientated
Galen Carroll, Senior Physiotherapist, Mediclinic Dubai Mall said, “You should always set goals whenever you are working out - this will focus your training, reduce procrastination and enhance your training effect.”
Warm down and Stretch/Foam Roll
Galen Carroll added, “ Flexibility is vitally important when you train regularly. Maintaining joint and soft tissue mobility will enhance performance and reduce injury risk. I recommend incorporating yoga into your weekly training schedule as an easy way to dedicate training time towards flexibility.”
Listen to your body
Dr. Preethamraj Vittal Salian, Specialist Orthopaedic Surgeon at Aster Clinic, Dubai Silicon Oasis said, “Listen to your body and the signs it may depict. Rigorous work out may harm the body if your body is not used to it. If you feel lethargic or weak, ensure to stop.”
Dr. Preethamraj Vittal Salian added, “Wear the right kind of clothing and shoes as required for a wok out. If you are a beginner it is best to get consulted from a specialist to understand your body type and weight and then focus on a customised work out regime that suits your body.”
Dr. Preethamraj Vittal Salian said, “Consume a balanced and healthy diet at all times. If you are hungry before a work out, eat a small pre-work out snack to give you the energy. However do not eat immediately after exercising and do not wait for too long either.”
Aftermaths of working out incorrectly
You are prone to injuries, sometimes irreversible
Yasmin Karachiwala of The PAD said, “You are prone to all kids of injuries such as back pain, neck pain, uncomfortable shoulder pain, pulled muscles, torn joints, are all signs that you've done something wrong during your workout. Remember, you should rather lift lighter weights and do it with correct form, than try a heavier weight and injure yourself. Some injuries can be irreversible and can cause a negative impact for life. So it's essential that all movement is monitored, or you ensure you've done your research to get it right by yourself.”
You can hurt your training partner
Patrick Milton, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Specialist said, “ If exercises are done incorrectly the training partner can also get injured. Incorrect exercises also prevent the athlete to achieve the desired outcome.”
Galen Carroll of Mediclinic said, “Acute overload is another common contributing factor in injury risk. This is when the athlete increases their volume of training too rapidly which results in the structures (muscles, tendons, ligaments) not being able to tolerate the load being put on them. I like to incorporate the 10% rule when increasing the volume/load of training - simply this means that you should increase your training load/volume by approximately 10% per week (1 week equates to 3 training sessions). This will reduce injury risk and allow for more consistent training gains.”
What to do if you get injured?
Give your body the rest it needs
Dr. Preethamraj Vittal Salian, Specialist Orthopaedic Surgeon at Aster Clinic, “In case of an injury caused during or post a work out, the first and the most important thing to do is to get right and appropriate diagnosis. In most cases, minor injuries like a twisted ankle or a sprain will heal in a couple of weeks. If it doesn’t, do not delay seeking medical help. Medications should be taken only as referred to by a healthcare professional. One must get back to working out only after complete recovery. Give your body the rest it requires.”
Consult a physiotherapist
Faisal Hayat Khan, Musculoskeletal and Sports Physiotherapistat Burjeel Hospital for Advanced Surgery said, “If one has any injury please consult a physiotherapist or physician as soon as possible.”
Tips for people with sensitive joints
Don’t cardio on a hard surface
Yasmin Karachiwala of The PAD said, “People with sensitive backs and joints should stick to exercise forms like Pilates, which are amazing to strengthen these parts without any risk of injury. For cardio, ensure you're not doing your cardio on a hard surface floor, as this is not good for your knees.”
Galen Carroll of Mediclinic said, “ With regard lower back pain, it is widely accepted that cardiovascular exercise (anything from walking, to swimming, to cycling) is a safe and effective exercise to help alleviate symptoms. Pilates, an exercise regime focusing predominantly on spinal control and stability, is also strongly advisable. Yoga is also an effective treatment option when stiffness and reduced mobility of the spine is present.”
“For joint related pain, it is important that you see a physiotherapist in order to accurately assess the injury and tailor an exercise program that will address any muscular imbalances you may have.” “For all back and joint pain, a progressive exercise plan is advisable. The first 3-4 sessions should be exploratory in order to allow you to identify areas of strength and areas of weakness. This will minimise any risk of flaring up your symptoms and better equip you in understanding how to challenge yourself in a progressive fashion.”
Patrick Milton of Dubai Capital Health said, “. There are no hard and fast rules as each and every person has different levels of tolerance but a few general rules can apply to all. Exercise to your level of fitness/body type/disability, gentle and planned progression, avoid high impact activities at the beginning, focus on both your level of mobility/flexibility and strength/power and vary your exercise routine regularly.