A healthy lifestyle blog by ACE Certified Group Exercise Trainer.

What to do when something hurts

We've all been there at one point or another - maybe you were jogging and your knee started aching or maybe you were lifting weights and felt a pull in your shoulder. Facing a workout injury can be challenging and discouraging, but remember to avoid ignoring your aches and pains.
Preventing Injury:
  1. Warm up! Don't skip this step. Make sure to get those muscles going.
  2. Add variety. Don't do the same muscle exercises, day in and day out. Mixing it up can help prevent overworking.
  3. Don't overdo it. You might be trying to keep up with the person next to you in aerobics class, but make sure to only do what feels right for YOU.
  4. Invest in good shoes. Get fitted for athletic shoes as specialty running/fitness stores. They can help evaluate your arch, width, etc. Having proper shoes can prevent so many ankle/knee injuries.
  5. Don't ignore pain. If something is bothering you, rest it and resist the urge to keep going with an exercise.
What to do if something hurts:
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 be taken to ease pain and inflammation from the injury.
Most workout injuries will heal on their own in four weeks or less. If the injury has not improved within a week, or if it gets worse, seek medical care. And always use common sense. If you're concerned about the injury, it's best to seek medical advice.
Until you are fully healed, avoid doing the activity that triggered the injury. And avoid any activity that puts strain on the injured area.
You can still be active as long as you don't stress the injury. Staying active may help you heal quicker than if you take to the couch. Try a new workout while your injury heals. For example, if you sprain your ankle, exercise your arms instead. If you hurt your shoulder, work out your legs by walking.
After you have fully recovered from your injury -- pain-free for more than a week -- start back slowly. Don't try to work out with the same fervor you did before your injury. You will need to rebuild your muscle strength and endurance. It may take three weeks of regular exercise to regain your pre-injury fitness level. If you push too hard and too fast, you may injure yourself again. Source

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