Injury Isn’t Inevitable: How to Safely Work Out

By Tony Whatley

No workout is exempt from a risk of injury. Injury is no joke as you & I get older—and it’s something I, personally, take very seriously. The less time I have to spend on the mend, the more time I can spend out adventuring & experiencing life.

Photo from here, labeled for commercial reuse.

Photo from here, labeled for commercial reuse.

I’ve had my share of personal setbacks as I’ve been seeking to keep myself fit in my “upper” years—and I’ve overcome them. As I mentioned in that first sentence, however, no working is exempt from a RISK of injury… but there are a lot of things you & I can do to lower that risk & avoid injury. Over the years, I’ve realized there are a few things I can do to spend less time healing & more time playing. Here are the top five things that I do to avoid injury:

1. STAY HYDRATED. If your body is well hydrated, it is not just less prone to injury, but also heals quicker. Proper hydration can be the difference between a great run, ride, or climb… and pulled muscles, premature exhaustion, and other dehydration-related issues.

2. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Now, I’m not going to tell you not to push yourself, but if your body is anything like mine, it’ll let you know when you need to ease up. Learn the difference between your body telling you “this is really hard” and “Stop! Stop! Something’s not right!”

3. GET THE RIGHT GEAR. There are few things that’ll cause injury faster than having gear (shoes, clothes, bike frame, harness, etc.) that doesn’t fit or function properly. If you’ve got questions about the gear you need, head into your athletic supply store and ASK.

4. WORK UP TO IT. When I’m starting a new activity, I know I won’t be able to push it as hard, or go as long as I’d like—but I also know that over time, I’ll build up stamina & the right muscles to get the job done. Don’t start running and attempt a marathon… start small & work your way into achieving your goal.

5. IF YOU FALL OFF THE HORSE… get back on… slowly. We all have times when life gets too busy, or for some reason we have to stop an activity that we love—but when the time comes to get back on the horse, don’t assume you can just start where you left off. It might take a while before you’re ready to go at it with the same degree of intensity as you could before.

PLANNING to avoid injury is the best way to ACTUALLY avoid it.

How do you make an effort to avoid injury as you exercise? Share your experience in the comments section below.

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