Saturday, March 14, 2009

4 Tips to Avoiding Injury when Starting a Weight Loss Program

One of the most important parts of any weight loss program is, of course, working out. You might think that the main reason people give up on working out is because they become bored with it.

Although plenty of people do grow tired of exercising, most people far earlier than that – quit a weight loss program because they injure themselves.

Injury during the beginning stages of a weight loss exercise regime is a far too common occurrence. Injuries happen because of many reasons, but almost all of them are preventable.

1 – When you haven’t worked out for a long time (or ever!), your muscles will have atrophied, your tendons and ligaments will have tightened up, and your cardiovascular system will have adjusted to the inactivity.

In other words, you are like an old car on a cold morning – it’s going to take a little extra time to warm you up.

Before you start working out each day, make sure you take the time for some easy stretches of the major joints and muscles, and do a little light cardiovascular activity to get the juices flowing. This will help prevent muscle and tendon injuries.

2 – You aren’t as young as you once were.

Remember the weight you could lift when you were 25? Well, you can’t lift it now, and nor should you. The most common injuries that are incurred during a weight loss program happen when people try to do what they once were able to do.

The easiest way to avoid doing this is to create a workout plan ahead of time that will slowly ease you back up to your prior fitness level.

3 – Weight lifting is dangerous work.

Even when you are lifting light weights, it is always wise to have a “spotter”. A spotter is usually only seen in gyms when big football players are lifting dumbbells with multiple weight plates. The spotter protects you should the dumbbells be too heavy to lift.

4 – If it doesn’t hurt, it’s OK, right? Wrong!

Doing too much on the first day of a weight loss workout is a surefire way to never make it back to the gym.

It may not hurt while you are doing it, but it will hurt the next day (and the day after that) due to something called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. DOMS is the muscle pain and heat you feel the day after your weight loss work out, and usually hits its peak 48 hours after the exertion.

Make sure you monitor your activities while you are doing them and never do more than you set out to do. The next day you should feel like you did something but you should not be in so much pain that you can’t lift your arms.

The best way to remain injury-free during a weight loss program is keep these four tips in mind when you head to the gym.

Rick Kaselj is the exercise and injury expert. He helps fitness professionals discover the most effective exercises to help their clients recover, prevent and overcome injury.

If you are a fitness professional with clients with new or old injuries you will have to visit the leading resource on exercises and injuries:



Anonymous said...

The Rest-Re-injury cycle can be brutal to one's ego. Being the 'Comeback Kid' can be difficult for most of us. It having the patience to start slow, progress slow and knowing the difference between pain and injury.
Great thoughts.

Kri said...

Great post and I couldn't agree with you more. Many clients want to be "sore" the next day, to know that they did something. We, as fitness pros need to educate clients and potential clients ahead of time that they don't have to not be able to get out of their car or feel pain while getting on the toilet to have had a great workout. It can take time.


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