Did you make a pact with yourself to hit the gym more this year? Don’t fall victim to exercise-induced injuries, like 3.2 million Americans did in 2021. Our urgent care would like to share some tips with our valued patients on how to practice new year’s safety, and stay injury-free in your pursuits to a healthier life.
Safety Tip: Get Enough Sleep
We simply cannot function properly without ample sleep. If you’re familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, good quality sleep and enough of it is the base on which we build ourselves. When we lose out on sleep, many inner functions of our body that we don’t even consider will suffer and raise our potential for injury.
Food is fuel, and nutrients keep us alive and well. Macro nutrients, such as protein, carbs and fat, contribute to exercise performance, muscle tone, and bodily functions. A deficiency in any of these will negatively contribute to your performance and therefore potentially cause injury. Micro nutrients such as B vitamins, trace minerals such as magnesium and potassium contribute to recovery and muscle function. A well-balanced diet including a variety of colors, protein sources, nuts and seeds will have everything you need to look and feel your best.
Safety Tip: Hydration
There is a reason our bodies are comprised mostly of water. It is the lubrication of our muscles, and life function of our organs. When we are not properly hydrated, our blood thickens and makes it harder to move through our veins and arteries, making it more difficult to deliver precious oxygen to our muscles exerting themselves. This increases your risk of injury. The National Academy of Medicine suggests an adequate intake of about 13 cups and 9 cups for healthy men and women, respectively, with 1 cup equaling 8 ounces.
A proper warm-up includes an element of stretching, as well as raising your core temperature and preparing the muscles for exertion. Dynamic stretching is a type of stretch that isn’t like touching your toes, but more like a leg swing through a large range of motion. Dynamic stretches are safer than static stretching especially preceding exercise. Flexibility is a large part of fitness, and simply cannot be skipped no matter your exercise discipline.
Safety Tip: Know Your Limits
It’s best to end your workout prior to complete exhaustion. People are much more prone to injuries when they have experienced a loss of power or “pep in their step” and attempt to push through it. Quit while you’re ahead, and no workout is worth injury. Sustaining injury while training will put you out of the gym, set back your goals, and could be costly in terms of doctor’s visits, physical therapy, pain meds, and more.
Make sure to eat a balanced diet including protein, vegetables, and grains. Likewise, reduce your alcohol consumption within 24 hours of your workout. Drink plenty of water between your workout and when you go to sleep so your body can recover overnight. Foam rolling is an excellent way to relieve and reduce soreness before and after you begin to experience it.
Treating Your Common Winter Injuries
If you are experiencing an injury, don’t wait; visit our Urgent Care Center or a PCP for prompt treatment.
- Sprains and strains
- Cuts and bruises
- Fall injuries (7ft or less)
- Burns (Minor)
- Muscle cramps
- Sports Injuries
- And Many, Many More!
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