I have received a few questions about injury prevention and how to remain healthy while working out or running.
I’m not a doctor or trainer, so it’s important to consult a doctor before beginning a new program, and especially if you have previous injuries. That being said, here are some of the things I do regularly to stay healthy:
1. Always warm up and cool down. Both are important.
2. Stretch often. It is especially important to stretch AFTER a workout when your muscles are already warm. I try to do a yoga DVD once a week.
3. ICE! I have found that bags of frozen veggies work well. I aim to ice within 30 minutes of my workout and keep the ice on for 20 minutes.I also put water in Dixie cups and freeze them for ice massages (you can peel the cup away as the ice melts).
4. Soak in hot Epsom salt baths. Research shows it relieves sore, achy muscles and brings relief after tough runs or workouts.
5. Invest in a foam roller. They are about $20 at Target and can roll out any tight spots….IT band, hips, gluts, etc. You can watch tutorials on Youtube to learn how to use it if you’ve never used one before.
6. HYDRATE!!! Super, super important. And it needs to be water. Depending on your diet and workout intensity, electrolytes may need to be replenished as well, but water is key.
7. Get enough sleep and REST when needed. Listen to your body. It will tell you when you need to take a rest day. Although you have to push yourself for results, it is also important to rest so your muscles can recover and rebuild.
8. Pay attention to your fuel. Food is more than pleasure- it is fuel for your body. Just like your car needs proper gas and oil to run effectively, your body needs lean protein, fruits and veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats to be able to work hard. Skip the junk, yes, but also make sure you’re getting enough of the proper nutrition.
9. Check your form. Working out with improper form can result in injury. If you have never been instructed on how to work out properly, I would suggest doing some research, recruiting a knowledgeable friend, or hiring a trainer if you have the means.
10. Have the right gear. And by that, I mostly mean shoes. You don’t HAVE to have a gym or equipment to work out, especially with all the at-home workouts, workouts DVDs, and great body-weight exercises we have access to now. Still, shoes can make all the difference.
What do YOU do to stay healthy???