Exercise is often a part of creating a healthier lifestyle. Using energy and staying active is an excellent way to lose weight, especially when it's paired with eating well-balanced meals. However, it's easy to get thrown from your workout routine when you're injured. Avoid common exercise injuries with these helpful tips:

"Stretching before and after a workout can help prevent injury."

Warm up and cool down

It's imperative that you prepare your body for a workout - this means taking about 15 minutes to stretch your muscles. Practice moves such as toe touches, lunges and arm circles. These movements help increase your muscle flexibility and gradually increase your heart rate so your body will be ready for more rigorous exercise. It's important for you to do these actions because according to a study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, warming up and stretching muscles can prevent injury.

Similar to stretching before your workout, you should also take the time to cool down after you're done exercising. This can help reduce lactic acid build up and minimize soreness. Your cool down doesn't have to be anything major - a short walk to slow your heart rate will do the trick. 

Gradually increase intensity

If you're just starting out on a workout routine, then you should take things slowly. Your overall goal may be to run three miles a day, but if you haven't been regularly exercising, then trying to accomplish that distance all at once could cause an injury. At the very least, your body will be extremely sore the next day, which could dampen your enthusiasm to continue your workout.

Instead of going from no exercise to overproduction, set yourself a schedule. Just like you slowly change your eating habits when you're trying to lose weight, you should also allow your body to adjust to the new exercise routine. For example, the first couple of weeks of your workout might involve intervals of walking and running until you hit a mile. After you've adjusted to this, you can try running the entire mile. Once you can accomplish this, you start adding more distance to your workout. This sort of plan will let your body get used to the new activity without injury or too many aches.

Use proper form

A common way people hurt themselves during a workout is not having proper form during an exercise. Whatever you're doing to keep active, you should ensure you're performing your actions correctly. If you're doing something wrong, you may be putting undue pressure on your joints, which could eventually result in a serious problem.

Figuring out if you're doing an exercise incorrectly can be difficult. Check your movements in front of a mirror - this will allow you to view whether everything is aligning correctly. Another option would be to take a class or work with a personal trainer. Instructors will be able to adjust your position and help you recognize when something feels off. You can also ensure you're using proper exercise form by going slowly. Flying through a movement makes it less likely to be done correctly, and it puts you at a higher risk of injury.

A group of women in an exercise class doing planks. If you want to make sure you're doing exercises right, take a class to gain instruction.

Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day is always important, but especially when you're working out. If you're already experiencing mild dehydration and go for a long run, your body is losing even more fluids. This can have serious consequences, such as involuntary muscle contractions and a drop in blood pressure.

To maintain a healthy level of hydration, you need to be drinking water throughout the day. This way, your system has time to absorb the fluids. You should also have a water bottle with you while you exercise that you can sip on. This way, as your body sweats, you can replenish what's depleted.

By pairing a healthy exercise routine with well-balanced meals you'll be on your way to a healthier lifestyle in no time. However, trying to figure out the proper meals and exercise needed can be difficult to achieve by yourself. Learn more about how to lose weight in a healthy way with the Food Lovers Fat Loss System. This program will help you ramp up your weight-loss efforts and see results. 


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