The number of people doing at-home workouts has gone up considerably, partly because people are avoiding gyms and another because some people’s goal is to get fit while still working from home. Thankfully, there are tons of online fitness classes and YouTube videos to follow, making it easier to stay fit and active at home.
One downside of at-home workouts, though, is that there’s no instructor to guide you on proper movements and positions, putting you at risk of sustaining injuries. But with some careful planning and by following the strategies below, you can prevent getting injured and still keep your fitness goals on track.
1. Wear appropriate attire
Workout attire plays a huge part in the success and safety of your at-home workout sessions. Primarily, the right gear gives you the proper range of motion to complete your routine. For example, yoga pants or gym shorts will not hinder your legs’ movements and running shoes keep your feet comfortable while giving you proper traction on the ground, helping you keep your balance.
2. Don’t forget to warm up and cool down
Just like how you wouldn’t cook something without preparing your ingredients, you can’t work out without first preparing your body for movement. Before starting your routine, perform dynamic warm up drills, which means stretching and moving the muscles you’ll be using during your workout. If you’re running, for example, you may do lunges and high knees as a warm up.
Cooling down after your routine is also important to allow your temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure to return to their normal levels. Doing cool down stretches after your workout also prevents lactic acid buildup, which reduces your chances of experiencing muscle cramps.
3. Personalize your workout routine
If you’re following online exercises and video workout tutorials, recognize that they are most likely made for general consumption. As such, you may have to modify the routines to make sure they are personalized to your fitness goal, whether you’re exercising to keep fit or as a part of your back pain relief strategy.
4. Switch things up
If you’re going to exercise frequently, try not to repeat your routines on consecutive days. Routines that target the same muscles on consecutive days can lead to muscle overuse and fatigue, which makes you more prone to injuries. By switching your routines up, like alternating between upper body strength training, lower body HIIT, and yoga or cardio, you’re not overworking the same muscles and you can achieve whole-body fitness.
5. Pay attention to pain
Strengthening your body should never be painful. Feeling uncomfortable is one thing, but if you still subscribe to the “No Pain, No Gain” mentality, now is the time to stop. Pain can signal the start of an injury, which means you must be doing something wrong. If this happens, make sure to immediately stop your routine and see a physician if necessary.
Remember that working out and exercising are forms of self-care, which means you have to take care of yourself while performing your routines. Practice the strategies above to make sure you’re fit and injury-free.