Back Pain

New Years Resolutions – Tips to Keep Your Back Safe Before Exercising

Every year we see the New Year in with good cheer and a handful of good resolutions. 2011 sees no change in this, and after all those mince pies and other delicious Christmas goodies many of us set getting into shape or losing weight as our primary resolution and goal.

As we vow to get fit and visit the gym more often however, it’s important that we’re sensible in order to prevent injuries.

Each year around 50,000 people are treated for accidents in the gym including such things as falling off the treadmill or exercise ball, dropping weights onto toes, and other similar issues. Sometimes these types of accidents can be hard to avoid, but others such as back pain caused by bench pressing to great a weight or hunching in the wrong position causing muscles to ache or shoulders to become painful can be avoided by taking simple steps and knowing how to use the equipment you have available.

No matter whether you’re new to the gym or see yourself as an old pro, anyone no matter how fit can sustain an injury if they don’t take caution when exercising. These tips will help you to stay injury free:

* Warm Up

Never begin any exercise routine without warming up. Simply running gently for a few minutes will increase the blood flow to your heart, loosen tight muscles and ligaments and decrease the chances of injury.

* Stretch

Stretch and hold the stretches for 15 seconds each then slowly release exhaling as you do. This will make sure your muscles are flexible and ready. However, never bounce on a fully stretched muscle and never stretch to the point of feeling pain.

* Everyone Has Limitations

As we age, our system – muscles, ligaments, and tendons become stiffer. Bones lose density and strength and as a result we become more vulnerable to injuries. Try doing more repetitions of each exercise but with lower weights to prevent over exertion of muscles.

* Footwear

Wearing the correct footwear for whatever you are doing is essential. Wear running shoes when running as they are good for propelling you forward. Don’t wear them for when you are doing something involving a lot of side to side movement as the ankle can roll and you may sprain or even break your ankle doing this. Instead for this sort of activity go for cross training shoes which will give you the necessary support.

* Look after your Back

Whether you are exercising, watching TV driving or any number of other activities you need to give your back the support it needs. Many of us slouch in chairs and put strain on our backs that can lead to pain, muscles aching, nerve pain and tension in the shoulders or spine. So make sure that you look after your back and if need be ask for professional guidance to make sure you are adopting the correct posture when exercising to avoid back injury.

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