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The possibility of suffering an injury that prevents you from attending the gym is a common concern among people who work out regularly. The key to avoiding injuries is understanding how to avoid them, especially if you’re a new gym user. It’s tempting to “push through” pain, but we only do more harm to ourselves.

We have compiled some helpful tips from our ACE physical therapists to help you avoid injury and maximize your results.

Tip # 1 Have a plan. It’s essential to create a fitness routine that incorporates various exercises. If you run on the treadmill for an hour without any strength training, you will not get the full benefit from working out. Undoubtedly, an entire body routine is essential for avoiding injuries and imbalances. Slowly build your weights and reps, and increase frequency and duration when training.

Tip # 2 Rest and recharge. Allowing adequate time between reps and sets is essential to avoid getting hurt. Resting certain muscle groups between sessions is necessary to facilitate recovery. When we are fatigued, our mobility is affected, and we are at the most risk for injury.

Tip # 3 Use the correct form. When reducing your injury risk, having proper form is essential. It can be very beneficial to seek out a personal trainer or schedule a few PT sessions before starting a workout routine. A physical therapist can catch muscle weakness and imbalances before an injury occurs, and a few physical therapy sessions can get you started on the right track.

Tip # 4 Focus on function. Going to the gym with training goals is crucial for avoiding injuries. Functional fitness includes training your body for everyday activities, with a goal to make daily movements and tasks easier and safer. As we age, it is important to remember that we are at risk of losing strength and mobility. Training strategically to avoid those losses and remain strong and agile at any age is vital. Functional movements include bending, lifting, pushing, and pulling.

Tip # 5 Pay attention to nutrition. A healthy diet is essential to aiding your body in recovering and sending much-needed assistance to your muscles. You will have difficulty recovering when you head to the gym next if you do not eat the right kinds of foods or drink enough liquids. Eat a diet rich in dark leafy greens, lean proteins, healthy fats, and lots of water for hydration.

Warming up, cooling down, and stretching should all be a part of your exercise routine. By developing a practice and designated rest time, avoiding injuries at the gym is possible. We all want to look and feel our best. Exercising safely is key!

ACE Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Institute was founded on the principles of high ethical standards, integrity, honesty, and professionalism. When you step inside one of their eight convenient locations in the Washington Metro area, your goal becomes theirs: returning you to your normal lifestyle as quickly and safely as possible.

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