Even if you prefer aerobic exercise or endurance sports, strength training is critical to avoid injuries. By strengthening muscles that support your joints, you can enjoy all types of activities. In this article, fitness enthusiast and investor Daniel Calugar shares his seven rules for staying healthy while working out.
1. Talk to your doctor
Before you dismiss this rule as being over cautionary, please give it some thought. Any time you are changing your lifestyle in a significant way, get advice from an expert. When it comes to changing how much or what kinds of exercise you get, talk to your doctor. They may have some good advice that relates to your specific health circumstances.
Here is another rule you probably hear all the time and might be tempted to dismiss, but don’t. Dehydration can lead to serious health problems, and at the very least, lacking water will prevent you from performing at your best. You will not get the most from your workout if you fail to hydrate properly.
There is little room for debate about this critical principle. Before you strain yourself lifting your personal best, warm up. Get the blood flowing properly through your body. Sweat a little before pushing for your limits; it will help you prevent muscle injuries.
4. Pace yourself
Start with a workout routine that you can perform comfortably. As your strength increases make small incremental increases in the amount of weight and or number of repetitions you perform. By increasing the weight you lift incrementally, you will be surprised at how easy it is to achieve your goals.
5. Mix up your routine
Rest days are essential. You’ve undoubtedly heard that many times before. One way to get your needed rest days and continue to work out with regularity is to mix up your routine. Work your upper body one day and lower body the next day. You will effectively be incorporating your rest days into your routine, one body region at a time. That’s not to say that complete rest days are not necessary. Once or twice a week, take a day off from strength training.
6. Proper technique
Many muscle, joint, and even bone injuries occur from strength training with sloppy form and technique. How you work out is as important as how much you work out. Focus on performing each exercise with precision. Make your goal more than just a certain weight or number of reps; include “in proper form” as part of each goal.
7. Know when to skip
It takes discipline to maintain a regular fitness routine, but don’t let your commitment and discipline be why you get injured and can no longer work out. Your body knows when it has had enough. Listen to what it is telling you. If a particular muscle group still complains with pain when it’s their time to be worked again — give them a break. They’ll reward you by staying healthy. Find that fine line between discipline and wisdom.