To avoid muscle and joint injury, it is important to carry out warm up and stretching exercises prior to any fitness training workout. However, there are a number of preventative practices that you should carry out as a matter of necessity if you are going to pursue any type of physical activity.
You will always be advised to make sure before you start any form of fitness training activity to carry out warm up exercises to lower the risk of injury later on. There are some other points to remember as well that can ensure a safe and enjoyable workout. You are less likely to strain or pull a warm muscle than a cold one but it is just as beneficial to have a cool down exercise period after a workout has been completed. Almost everyone knows that stretching before workout prevents injuries, but only a few people know that stretching after workout, when muscles are still warm, can increase flexibility.
Hold your stretching position for more than 60 seconds to increase flexibility, because although holding your position for 20 seconds is enough for warm ups; holding each position for at least 60 seconds will develop the body’s flexibility. Many people make the mistake of stretching and returning to their original position to quickly when the movement should be slow and measured. The way to do this is to maintain the position of a few seconds and then return because it is possible to either strain or pull muscles or joints if you return to the starting position too quickly. Work slowly in increments instead of immediately proceeding to doing the hardest exercise or position so make sure that you have stretched or warmed up all muscle groups.
Another neglected area to stretch and warm up is the neck, it’s amazing how many people forget even though it is not difficult to do, in fact all it requires is the palm of the hand being placed on the forehead and pushing against it; this can be repeated for the back and sides. Stretching should also take place during any fitness training workout as well to keep the muscles and joints flexible especially prior to an exercise that may be strenuous on particular areas of the body. It is never worth attempting certain moves because others can manage them; wait until you are ready, remember not to over-stretch your self and you will gain more from it. Remember there will be days when your body will perform better than others; this is quite normal and should be expected as even top sportsmen have good and bad days so why should you be any different.
Every athlete knows that muscles need to heal and grow from physical exertion so give yourself a day off between fitness training and exercising; your body will appreciate it. Increasing your lung capacity, which means you won’t get out of breath so easily and heart improvement exercises like walking, running and rowing for instance are the best to start with and you will find weight machines much easier to use. If you are someone that likes aerobic exercise then you should listen to music if possible as it helps to have a regular beat. Make sure you get a decent pair of headphones though because you will probably want your music loud but not everyone else will want to listen to it. If you are someone who has trouble relaxing or sleeping then you may want to consider stretching exercises as it is good for you even if you are not working out.