Everyone knows the physical and mental health benefits of exercising, and people should try to get the minimum recommended amount of exercise each week, but it is also essential to be aware that people are more likely to injure themselves while exercising, so steps must be taken to avoid this.
In order to know how best to prevent injury, it is essential to look at what the most common injuries that are suffered through exercise and what steps can be taken to stop accidents and injuries from happening.
This was something that was recently researched by The National Accident Helpline, who discovered some interesting statistics. They found that a study from BUPA revealed that 25% of Brits had sought medical attention after exercise, with around 7.2 million hurting themselves during a lockdown workout.
The study revealed that the most common exercise-related injury is a pulled muscle (36%), which could occur from lifting weights, bodyweight exercises, exercise classes, or any other type of activity.
While exercise and activity are associated with positive benefits such as improving cardiovascular fitness, strength, and boosting mental health, if exercise is done incorrectly, it can do more harm than good.
Many more people are now running as a result of lockdown, and again this can be a dangerous activity if you are not careful.
Another study highlighted by the no win no fee specialists revealed that as many as 50% of recreational runners suffered an injury each year, more often than not, as a result of poor technique, which can lead to all kinds of issues like shin splints and runner’s knees.
Of course, this is not the only potentially dangerous aspect of running as cars are a significant threat, with 122,000 runners being hit by cars each year in the USA, and this is also a common danger with cyclists.
Lots of people bought weights during the lockdown period. Weight training is great for improving strength both in the working muscles and is also an effective fat loss method.
That said, weight training requires good technique. If you lift a weight with bad form i.e., bending your back too much when you squat, you could cause yourself a lower back injury.
Injuries to the shoulders, lower back, and knees are common when weight training is done incorrectly. It is important to seek professional help. You can do this by hiring a personal trainer (either face to face or online). You could also learn the correct exercise techniques by watching professionals on Youtube.
How to Avoid Injuries
So, how can you avoid these common injuries?
Learning the proper technique is essential for all types of exercise. This will not only protect you from injury but also allow you to maximise performance, so always research technique before starting any exercise.
In addition to this, you should warm-up. The best way to warm up is to start with light activity and slowly build-up, a bit like going through the gears in your car. For example, you can start by light walking, then move into light jogging.
Once your heart rate is elevated, you can then go into foam rolling (to release tight muscle tissue) and perform mobility work to take your body through a movement pattern and fire up specific muscle groups to prevent injury.
In terms of after your workout?
Once you have finished your training session, it is important not to suddenly stop and sit down. If you do this, especially after a vigorous workout your muscles will cease up, become tight, and you’ll experience painful muscle soreness (also known as DOMS).
To prevent this, we recommend stretching off after each workout to lengthen your muscles and remove lactic acid. Stretch the muscles you have used during your workout, for example, if you have been on a run, stretch out your thighs, hamstrings, and glutes. Hold each stretch for 45-60s.
Other recovery strategies include taking a cold shower (to reduce joint inflammation and injury). You could also have a hot bath later in the evening to help your muscles relax. Finally, you could hire a sports massage therapist or do some extra foam rolling at home to help your muscles relax, repair, and prevent injury.
Don’t forget your nutrition. It is important to consume enough protein from whole food sources. You could also use supplements such as protein powder. We would recommend magnesium for muscle recovery too.
In terms of avoiding road-related accidents, whether on a bike, running, or walking, being aware of your surroundings and respecting the rules of the road is vital. If you are involved in an accident while exercising, which is not your fault, you can use a compensation calculator to determine how much you could be entitled to.
Exercise is incredibly essential for your physical and mental health, but you must also take steps to avoid accidents.