It’s often worrying when you want to exercise to keep your body fit and healthy that you could get a nasty muscle strain along the way. Muscle damage can be very debilitating, cause you considerable pain and even put you off work for a time. You don’t need any of that, and there are ways to make sure that as you develop your exercise regime you can look after your body as well as improving your fitness level.
Do the warm-ups
You can’t expect your body to immediately kick into action when you want to do a workout, or play a team or other sport. Bodies don’t work that way, even if you have a good level of fitness.
Your sport or workout should always begin with a warm-up. You are preparing your muscles for much harder work, so warming up gets your heart rate increased gradually and loosens the muscles and joints. Simple warm-up exercises include riding an exercise bike – start slowly and then build up to where you are comfortable with the physical work – or doing some simple jogging in place, for up to 10 minutes.
Do the cool-down
You’ve done the work – and we’ll get to that work shortly – but then you need to cool down. Your heart rate after exercise will be accelerated so you need to bring it back to normal. Walk for a while to wind down. Try a few stretches, both before and after your main exercise.
Avoid muscle damage
It’s so easy to think you can push your limits but you really need to think your exercise and sporting regime through. It’s especially important to work out a good regime when you are older and perhaps need more time to develop your fitness levels.
There are now very helpful products that can assist with this. Take women’s compression shirts for example; there have been many positive reviews of the compression shirt . These can make a significant difference in relieving muscle and joint soreness throughout the day and night, and the soft fabrics used give you maximum comfort and mobility.
Treating a strain
If you’re unlucky enough to get a muscle strain then take it seriously or it could get worse.
Protect the injured area, for example an ankle injury, with shoes that enclose and support the fee. Use lace-ups to help with that support.
Rest the injured muscle, so stop the activity you were doing for a while until it feels right. There’s no harm in checking with a doctor.
Use ice wrapped in a damp towel, apply it to the injured area but don’t leave it on for more than 20 minutes. Don’t apply it if you’re likely to fall asleep with it still on.
Listen to your body
Sometimes you think that you are invincible and that your body will fit in with what you think and do. It won’t. Be realistic as to your exercise goals, take care of your body and enjoy whatever sport you want to be involved in. Just remember, you only have the one body, so look after it.