Working out is an important element of a healthy lifestyle. It’s possible to build simple home gyms or find creative ways to stay active without any expensive equipment. Anything that keeps our bodies moving, speeding up our breathing and heart rates is considered a form of exercise or workout (1).
Constant physical activity is an important part of keeping healthy. It only makes sense, then, that staying safe while working out is one of our top priorities when exercising. If you are looking to find some tips on exercise injury prevention, this may just be for you.
The basics of working out
Getting to know the basics of exercise can help you design the right workout plan for you. Here are certain types of exercises you can look into, and which workouts can help you achieve these:
- Aerobic exercises include walking, cycling, or running, and sports such as tennis and jumping rope (2).
- Resistance exercises involve the use of free weights and weight machines, or merely just exercising with your own body weight (3).
- Stretching exercises can be static or dynamic, engaging your body’s full length and are necessary before and after workouts (4).
Your workout routine should be a combination of these three, to target different areas of your body. Making sure your workout techniques are safe can help ensure your exercises engage your body in an effective way (5). Read on to learn tips on how to prevent injury during exercise.
Staying safe while working out
The many health benefits of exercise far outweigh the risk of injury. This is why it’s important to avoid injury and exercise safely, starting with the following tips:
Wear protective equipment
Use and wear the right workout gear, especially if your chosen workout requires protective equipment like mouthguards, shin pads and helmets (6).
It's important to keep in mind that the equipment you use may also cause injury if not used correctly, or with proper form. For instance, if you are using handheld sporting equipment, such as a tennis racquet, it is important to hold the racquet the right way to reduce the possibility of injuring your tendons.
Warm up before exercise to prepare your muscles for the activity and cool down after to help bring your heart rate and body temperature back to normal (7). To warm up, try exercising slowly within the first few minutes, before increasing the intensity of your exercise. Similarly, you can cool down by slowing down your routine for the final five to ten minutes.
Know when to stop
Pay attention to your form and listen to your body (6). Being aware of how your body moves and feels, can help prevent injury (7).
While you can expect sore muscles out of any workout, it is also important to stop exercising if you feel pain while working out. Feeling constantly tired long after exercise sessions may also suggest that you are working your body too hard.
Hydrate with a lot of water and fuel the body with a well-balanced diet to make sure it has the energy it needs to stay moving (6).
If you are looking to boost your protection against exercise injuries, you may want to consider supporting your diet with vitamin and mineral supplements tailored to your needs.
Vitamins and minerals for workout safety
Here are some vitamins and minerals you can consider when it comes to exercise injury prevention:
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is involved in many metabolic functions of the body (8). Vitamin C supplements can help in the synthesis of collagen which promotes healing in injuries and deficiency, and is associated with poor joint health (9).
Fish oil is mainly derived from food such as salmon and mackerel, where the body obtains omega-3 fatty acids (10). Fish oil supplements are known to have analgesic effects that can help deal with joint pain (11).
Cranberries have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that can help support and promote joint and cartilage health (12).
Curcumin is found in turmeric, has anti-inflammatory properties that can help maintain joint health and alleviate joint pain (13, 14).
These vitamins and minerals are just some of the supplements you can explore when it comes to preventing exercise injury. If you are in the middle of upgrading your workout routine, you might want to check out Vitable Australia for a vitamin subscription box tailored to you and your needs. Vitable offers daily vitamin packs that are delivered straight to your doorstep–curated right at your fingertips!
*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamin and/or mineral supplements should not replace a balanced diet.
- Australian Government Department of Health Content Team. “About physical activity and exercise”. Australian Government Department of Health: Health.Gov.Au. Published May 6, 2021 on https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/physical-activity-and-exercise/about-physical-activity-and-exercise. Accessed December 19, 2021.
- Cleveland Clinic Content Team. “Aerobic Exercise”. Cleveland Clinic: My.ClevelandClinic.Org. Published July 16, 2019 on https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/7050-aerobic-exercise. Accessed December 19, 2021.
- Better Health Channel Content Team. “Resistance Training - Health Benefits”. Better Health Channel: Betterhealth.Vic.Gov.Au. Published August 26, 2018 on https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/resistance-training-health-benefits /. Accessed December 19, 2021.
- Karungi, Z. “Stretch your way to fitness”. Fitness Australia: Fitness.Org.Au. Published August 21, 2018 on https://fitness.org.au/articles/most-recent/stretch-your-way-to-fitness/50/1552/184. Accessed December 19, 2021.
- Mayo Health Clinic Content Team. “Fitness Training: Elements of a well-rounded routine”. Mayo Health Clinic: MayoClinic.Org. Published September 22, 2020 on https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/fitness-training/art-20044792. Accessed December 19, 2021.
- Better Health Channel Content Team. “Exercise safety”. Better Health Channel: Betterhealth.Vic.Gov.Au. Published on https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/exercise-safety. Accessed December 19, 2021.
- Medline Plus Content Team. “How to avoid exercise injuries”. National Library of Medicine Medline Plus: Medlineplus.Gov. Published August 13, 2020 on https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000859.htm. Accessed December 19, 2021.
- Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand Content Team. “Vitamin C”. Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand: Nrv.Gov.Au. Published January 3, 2017 on https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/vitamin-c. December 19, 2021.
- Linus Pauling Institute Content Team. “Vitamin C”. Linus Pauling Institute Orgeon State University: Lpi.Oregonstate.Edu. Published August 13, 2020 on https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-C. Accessed December 19, 2021.
- Mayo Clinic Content Team. “Fish oil”. Mayo Clinic: Mayoclinic.Org. Published December 8, 2020 on https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-fish-oil/art-20364810. Accessed December 19, 2021
- Goldberg, R. J., & Katz, J. “A meta-analysis of the analgesic effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation for inflammatory joint pain”. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov. Published March 1, 2007 on https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17335973/. Accessed December 19, 2021.
- Thimóteo, N. S. B., Iryioda, T. M. V., Alfieri, D. F., Rego, B. E. F., Scavuzzi, B. M., Fatel, E., Lozovoy, M. A. B., Simão, A. N. C., & Dichi, I. “Cranberry juice decreases disease activity in women with rheumatoid arthritis”. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov. Published October 10, 2018 on https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30553231/. Accessed December 19, 2021.
- Hewlings, S., & Kalman, D. “Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health”. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Nih.Gov. Published October 22, 2017 on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664031/. Accessed December 19, 2021
- Daily, J. W., Yang, M., & Park, S. (2016). “Efficacy of Turmeric Extracts and Curcumin for Alleviating the Symptoms of Joint Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials”. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Nih.Gov. Published August 1, 2016 on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5003001/. Accessed December 19, 2021.