How to Avoid Injuries caused by Virtual Workouts
By Dr. Nekessa Remy
Since gyms and fitness facilities have closed, home workouts have become then new normal for those looking to keep in shape during this quarantine era. Most fitness clubs have gone virtual meaning there are literally hundreds of workouts online at any given moment. Although the variety of virtual classes allows for less boredom with your workouts, working out at home can lead to injuries if you do not have the right equipment or take the proper precautions. Here are a list of the most common injuries caused by at home workouts and tips on how to avoid them.
These injuries are often the result of improper planning and preparation. Before your workouts ensure that you have adequate space for the movements involved with the type of workout you will be doing. For example, if working out in your basement pay attention to the ceiling height. If your workout includes jumping or skipping, make sure you have adequate clearance to avoid bumping your head. You would be surprised how often this occurs. If doing a floor workout, make certain you have a cushioned mat for support and comfort. Carpet may be soft, but carpet burn is no fun. Also, if you sweat, it can cause carpet or other types of flooring to become slippery and dangerous. There should be at least 2 feet of free space around your mat to provide adequate space for a variety of movements.
Proper footwear is essential when working out at home. The tendency may be to wear no shoes since most home workouts are done indoors but supportive footwear is important to help maintain stability and balance. Running shoes should have arch support which will help with ankle stability and heel cushioning to help minimize the compression of joints especially during high intensity interval training.
Low back pain
Considering most of us sit for approximately 11 hours a day, lower back pain is a common complaint. Sitting leads to compression of the spine and can cause muscle stiffness and joint restrictions. When working out it is important to focus on proper technique in order to avoid added pressure to the spine. If you do experience back pain during a particular exercise stop and re-assess your technique and posture. If pain continues, I recommend stopping the exercise and try stretching instead. Childs pose is a great stretch aimed to help relieve back tension while lying on back and pulling your knees up to your chest also release muscle tension around the spine.
It's important to mix up your workouts. You want to avoid utilizing the same muscles and joints by repeating the same exercises daily. Knee sprains, rotator cuff injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome are examples of overuse injuries. If you are doing a workout heavy in weights on Monday, then you may want to do a cardio workout on Tuesday, followed by a flexibility workout on Wednesday. Rest days are also important to give your body time to recover.
Stretching is an essential part to any workout but is often forgotten. It improves joint range of motion as well as increases circulation to muscles. It is this increase in blood flow to muscles that prevents muscle tightness and post workout cramping.
The are many types of stretching and knowing what type of stretching to do and when is equally as important as stretching itself. Before a workout dynamic stretching, which involves active stretches aimed towards preparing the body for activity, should be done. Lunges with an upper body twist, running in the spot with high knees are a couple of examples of dynamic stretches which will increase your heart rate and muscle circulation. Post workout, static stretching, which is stretching while holding a posture, improves flexibility and can help cool the body done after a workout.
BIO: Dr. Nekessa Remy is a leading health and wellness professional and expert with a passion for sports injury prevention and enabling others to be their own health champions. Her philosophy stems from her believe that healthy living is a RIGHT and not a privilege.