From Halloween to New Year’s Day, we are flooded with the likes of candy bars, mashed potatoes, stuffed turkey, honey-baked ham, casseroles, pumpkin pies and countless finger foods–and that’s not counting the hot cocoa, eggnog, beer, wine and spirits that lift many a holiday spirit.
If you are like many Americans during this food-and-fun-filled season, you also realize that all of this excess without a bit of exercise in between the double helpings of stuffing and gravy can leave you feeling much worse for the wear. Clothes are a bit tighter, stairs are harder to master and you may just feel a bit ill after overeating and staying stagnant in the fall and winter months.
Though countering the season’s dietary sins with exercise is a wonderful idea, it is also important to use caution before strapping on your running shoes and trying to tackle a 5k after spending months plopped in front of your 4k TV. The same goes for renewing that gym membership and trying to jump directly into a bench press that your body’s not ready for.
To avoid gym injuries, we have compiled a list ways you can stay safe while fighting off that worrisome winter weight.
How to Avoid Gym Injuries While Staying Healthy During the Holidays
- Slip and Trip: If you have not been to the gym in some time, do not forget that slippery surfaces should be expected. Sweat, spilled bottled water, or water tracked in from the showers can lead to major risks, especially when lifting weights, stretching or simply walking to your next workout station. To add to this risk is the possible presence of obstacles in walking paths. Unfortunately, some gym members may not re-rack their weights or put away machine handles or other accessories, putting the onus on you to watch your step and remove these risks.Though these risks are the responsibility of the gym to monitor and remove when spotted, you should always remain vigilant just in case something is missed. Keep your eyes open and watch your step.
- Technique is Key: Especially important after taking some time off, you need to reassess your exercise technique. Follow the instruction of a training professional and ensure that you are lifting and stretching in a healthy manner. Failing to practice proper biomechanical movements is an easy way to instantly and seriously injure yourself.
- Too Much, Too Soon: Though it is easy to be discouraged by having to restart your weight training at a lighter weight, attempting to lift more than you safely can is an easy way to a gym injury. Remember that exercise works best as a slow, steady and consistent process toward progress. If you cannot control the given weight throughout the entirety of the lift, you should go lighter until you are more comfortable.
- Warm Up and Stretch Out: Two steps so often forgotten yet absolutely necessary when getting in a good workout are warming up and stretching out. Without either one of these techniques, you are setting yourself up for not only an unsatisfying workout, but a potentially dangerous one.
Every one of your workouts should begin with a warm-up session. Just 5-10 minutes of light cardio or high-repetition/low-weight lifting can do wonders to getting your muscles primed for the rest of your workout.
Once your muscles are suitably warmed up, it is a good idea to stretch in order to further promote muscle elasticity. Warm, limber muscles are far more injury resistant than cold, stiff muscles. Post-workout, or even between sets, stretching can also promote muscle growth and recovery. Pair these benefits with lowering the risk for gym injuries and you have a real workout win/win.
- Spot a Good Spotter: When lifting, always use a spotter. Especially when moving up in weight or trying a lift for the first time in a while, a spotter can be a literal life-saver if you bite off more than you can chew. Even if you are confident with the weight you are lifting, mistakes can always happen, so ensure that your spotter is not only present, but focused on you when you need them most.
Though getting back on schedule with your workout is a fantastic way to stay healthy during the holidays, never forget that gym injuries are just one bad lift away if you do not watch for slip-and-fall risks, practice proper technique, use caution when lifting, warm up, stretch out and utilize a spotter.
Remember, even though getting back to making fitness a priority during the holiday season can be discouraging at first attempt, it is important to use caution in order to avoid gym injuries and reach long-term health goals.
Above all else, we hope you enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season with the ones you love. If you are injured while at the gym due to the negligence of others, please do not hesitate to contact our Orlando personal injury attorneys as soon as possible to receive the compensation you deserve.