8 tips to prevent muscle injuries
Physical activity should not be done without rules, sometimes at the risk of seriously hurting yourself. Discover 8 tips to avoid muscle injuries.
1. Stay hydrated
Physical exertion sometimes leads to significant water loss. This water loss occurs either through sweating, which regulates body temperature, or through the use of glycogen stores during energy production necessary for exercise.
It is recommended to hydrate regularly, i.e. 1-2 hours before the start of physical activity and then more frequently during exercise and finally during the recovery phase.
Feeling thirsty is an already developed symptom of dehydration. Above all, don't wait until you feel thirsty to drink. Alkaline water, rich in minerals, helps reduce muscle acidity and reduce the risk of cramps.
If your cramps are accompanied by increased fatigue, irritability, and symptoms such as twitching eyelids, you can also consider increasing your intake of magnesium-rich foods or even using supplements.
2. Eat well
A proper diet is essential to exercise. Some diets low in "sugar" can cause a lack of energy in the body during exercise. The body, deprived of fuel, relies on muscle to use its protein stores. This alternative is undesirable because it breaks down muscle mass and weakens the body.
Any exercise should be accompanied by a basic knowledge of nutrition. It is important to prefer slow sugars away from exercise such as pasta, bread, cereal and rice, preferably made with whole grains as well as quick sugars close to exercise such as fruit, cereal bars or gingerbread.
Maintain a reasonable 2 to 3 hour delay (depending on the meal) between the meal and exercise. Meet your daily protein needs and enrich your meals with fruits and vegetables.
3. Sleep well
Sleep is a major factor in the performance of high-level athletes as well as recreational athletes. Sleep as a source of rest and increase recovery helps regulate emotions and satiety. For this reason, the different stages of sleep must be respected. Accumulated fatigue weakens the body and makes it more susceptible to injury. Whether it is an occasional exercise such as on vacation or on a regular basis, take care of your sleep hours during the training period, both quantitatively and qualitatively. You will feel the benefits and avoid unpleasant surprises.
4. Do you have a proper exercise
Muscle injuries are a signal that the body is not working under favorable conditions. It is recommended not to neglect the phase of the gradual warm-up before initiating the inversion of physical activity. This allows the muscles to prepare for exercise without suddenly transitioning from rest to activity.
The training load must adapt to the rhythm of your life. Even light physical activity, if regular, helps reduce the effects of stress and mental fatigue. Physical fatigue should be viewed differently. Being physically active on a temporarily weakened body can worsen symptoms of fatigue and cause injuries. Chosen rest for a short time can sometimes avoid forced rest for a long time.
5. Do not resume physical activity without gradual
Any occasional exercise during vacations such as skiing, hiking or mountain biking should be considered an unusual physical activity for the body. Feel free to do light but regular muscle-strengthening exercises before the holidays as well as stretching sessions. These types of procedures ensure a beneficial sporting holiday and greatly reduce the risk of injury.
6. Listen to the body's signals
Some of the more serious muscle injuries that involve fiber damage may have been preceded by fewer injuries that were not considered. The muscle soreness signal is not a hindrance but a service that your body gives you to let you know what precautions to take at a well-chosen time. Silencing the pain and increasing your usual physical activity is not the solution to adopt. The healing of any muscle is enhanced by the ability to patiently listen and accept its signals.
7. Choose the right equipment
Whether you exercise regularly or now and then, it is important not to save money on the quality of the equipment you will be using. In running, for example, frequent use of low-quality shoes without cushioning can cause additional trauma to an organism already traumatized by the effort and promote the appearance of muscle injuries. Feel free to consult medical professionals such as orthopedists, rheumatologists, or even sports doctors if your exercise requires a special adaptation to your profile.
8. Stretch regularly
Various specialists do not agree on the benefits of stretching. For some this is necessary, while for others hot stretching damages muscle fibers. To be useful, the stretching exercises must be done well and not applied to sore muscles. Stretching can restore functional range, reduce injury risk, and improve strength1. Its advantage also lies in its ability to relax by eliminating the tension accumulated in the muscles. These muscle tensions can be the root of wounds if the organization is subjected to an extremely brutal effort. It can also be wise to use physical activity specialists to support your body in this effort, without errors.