Exercise, as we all know, plays a major role in safeguarding our general health. It helps us to lose weight from fat, gain weight from lean muscle, and to feel naturally fantastic.
Of course, many forms of exercise also carry with them an inherent risk of injury. And this risk increases when we’re exercising at home, using improvised equipment. A study by Bupa concluded that more than seven million Brits have managed to injure themselves during lockdown, and that many of them have not sought medical treatment to deal with the problem.
What Should I Worry About?
It’s tricky to know for sure what the riskiest form of exercise is. There will always, naturally, be a skew toward the most popular forms of exercise. Around a third of injuries, according to a study of American gymgoers from Elliptical Reviews, occurred in runners – both outdoors, and on the treadmill. But this is probably just a reflection of the amount of people who are recreationally running, rather than, say, skipping or cycling.
Interestingly, weight-training represented just 4% of total injuries occurring in the gym – which when you consider the potential for a sudden strain might sound surprising. The difference here is almost certainly down to focus – when you’re balancing a weight above your head, it’s easy to retain focus on the task in hand.
How Can I Reduce the Chance of an Injury?
Every exercise session should commence with a warm-up and end with a cool-down. This will ensure that you aren’t overtaxing your muscles, and that you’ll be statistically less likely to incur an injury, in the long-run.
What Exercises Should I Do?
A variety of movements will help to shift the focus from one muscle group to another. If you’re jogging every day for thirty minutes, then you’re going to put considerable strain on just a few parts of your body. This leads to imbalances, which might well lead to injury.
To get around this, it’s worth mixing things up. Intersperse those jogging sessions with a spell on the cross-trainer, or skipping, or yoga, or calisthenics. Certain activities, like martial arts and gymnastics, are going to naturally involve a greater range of movement – but it’s still worth mixing things up.
What’s the Best Way to Recover?
If you don’t rest, then you aren’t going to recover in between sessions. This means eating the right foods in the right proportions, but it also means getting enough sleep. Take sleep hygiene seriously and you’ll see superior results from your exercise efforts, because much of the regeneration our bodies do actually occurs when we’re asleep. Of course, when you’re alert and awake, you’ll also be far less likely to suffer a lapse in concentration that leads to an injury!