Exercises are obviously great for your health, but only if you do them in a safe manner. As fitness and health expert Ilija Jahura explains, you can do significant damage to your body if you aren’t exercising properly.
But, what are the proper guidelines to make sure that you don't hurt yourself when you're working out? Below are five key rules that you should follow to get the best results from your exercise with the least amount of risk.
1. Warm Up
It's never a good idea to jump head first into an intense workout. Whether you're lifting weights, jogging or doing an aerobics class, you can easily suffer a major injury if you don't warm up first.
Muscles that are "cold" are much more prone to tears because they aren't as pliable as "warm" muscles. Before any workout, take roughly 10 minutes to move your body at low intensity to warm up. This could include walking and stretching.
2. Don’t Try to Do Too Much
We all like to think we have superhuman strength, and we love to prove that we can push ourselves to do more and more. But, one of the easiest ways to hurt yourself when exercising is trying to do more than your body can handle.
It's a good thing to push yourself, of course, but don't do so beyond your realistic means. It's much better to build up your strength or endurance over time and set that as a long-term goal than it is to try to do it all right from the beginning.
3. Use the Right Technique
There is a proper technique to every exercise, a standard way that the exercise should be accomplished, both in terms of form and repetition. The technique is there for a reason: Not only does it help you get the most out of the exercise, but it also helps you avoid injury.
One of the most common ways people get injured while exercising is by not following the right technique for that exercise. If you don't know how to do an exercise, don't just try it without asking for help or learning how to do it properly first.
Your body needs proper hydration to not only perform well, but to recover. When you exercise, you sweat, and that releases both water and electrolytes from your body -- essential nutrients for the function of both your body and your brain.
The best way to hydrate is to have a well-rounded plan for before, during and after the workout. You want to ensure proper hydration levels before your exercise, combined with sips of water during the exercise, and more full hydration afterward.
Everyone's body needs rest at some point. As Ilija Jahura says, rest days allow your muscles to recover, which in turn allows you to perform better in the future.
You may think pushing through and skipping a rest day might accelerate your fitness goals, but that can do the exact opposite. So, make sure you take rest days at least once every three or five days that you work out.
About Ilija Jahura
Ilija Jahura is a fitness and health expert based out of Kelowna, British Columbia. His main focuses include diet planning, cardiovascular development, as well as hypertrophy training and muscle-building. But at the end of the day, Ilija is committed to helping his clients become the best possible version of themselves — not only in the gym but also in life — by helping them achieve their dreams and goals.