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Workout Injuries: Prevention and Treatment

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Preventing Workout Injuries continued...

Know your trouble spots. Tailor your workout for problem areas. For example, if you have arthritis in your knees, you'll want to build up strength. But don't do exercises that hurt. And be sure to start out lightly.

Listen to your body. The "no pain, no gain" philosophy can set you up for an injury. You can get fit without feeling pain. Don't push yourself to the point of pain. If you feel pain, you may be injured. Stop your workout, and rest for a day.

Fuel your body. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after you work out. A good general rule is to drink this amount of water:

  • 8 ounces about 20 to 30 minutes before working out
  • 8 ounces every 10 to 20 minutes during your workout
  • 8 ounces when your workout is done

Eat a small meal or snack every 2 to 3 hours to keep a steady source of fuel for your body. After your workout, eat a healthy carb and protein snack to replenish your energy stores.

See a trainer. Before starting a weightlifting or exercise routine, meet with a trainer. He or she can show you how to work out correctly. The trainer will help you create a safe and realistic exercise program.

Dress right. Wear the proper gear for your workout. If you are a runner, wear a good pair of running shoes that fit properly. If you are a biker, always wear a helmet.

Rest. Take 1 to 2 days off a week to rest. Rest days give your body a chance to recover between workouts. That can help prevent injuries.

Treating Workout Injuries

Injuries can happen, no matter how careful you are. If you develop a workout injury, follow the RICE method to keep your injury from getting worse:

  • R: Rest the injury.
  • I: Ice the injury to lessen swelling, bleeding, and inflammation.
  • C: Apply a compression bandage to minimize swelling.
  • E: Elevate the injury to reduce swelling.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen can help ease pain and inflammation from the injury. Check with your doctor before using them, though, if you take any other medicines or have medical problems.

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