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How can I prevent injuries when I work out?

Working within your "truth levels" is a great way to prevent injury.  What are "truth levels?"  At barre3 we refer to these as that area where you are challenging yourself without compromising form or inflicting negative pain.  We also like to focus on creating balance within the body.  This means working all major muscle groups and their stabilizers for better aligment and posture. A great way to prevent injury!  Combine that with a good warm up and active stretching to heat the body from within and you are setting yourself up for success for the rest of the day.

There are a number of simple steps you can take to help minimize the risk of injury while exercising. The first is to make sure you perform a thorough warm up, which may involve light activity, stretching and foam rolling of tight areas and moving all the major body parts through their range of motion to prepare them for further activity.  The second tip is to never use more weight or go faster than you can maintain proper form for, do not sacrifice technique and form for performance, lighten the load or slow down the speed until the form is good again. Finally make sure you progress slowly and give your body plenty of time to adapt to increased weight or workloads. If you follow these tips you will decrease the likelihood of developing an injury.

There are some basic steps you can take to prevent inuries from working out, such as a proper warm up - which should include both passive and dynamic stretching. Start your warm up slow with neck stretches, work your way down your body then move on to more dynamic stretches and exercises like toe touches, jumping jacks, etc. You should be sweating by the end of your warm up. Another way to prevent injury is make sure you are doing the exercises correctly (good form and not to much weight). Weight training is not a full body exercise. If you are doing a bicep curl, the only part of your body that should move is your forearm as it lifts the weight up. If you cannot do the bicep curl without recruiting your shoulders and lower back, you are using to much weight. The same can be said of any exercise from chest press to squats.

Being physically active is safe if you are careful. Take these steps to prevent injury:

If you're not active at all or have a health problem, start your program with short sessions (5 to 10 minutes) of physical activity and build up to your goal. (Be sure to ask a doctor before you start if you have a health problem)Use safety equipment such as a helmet for bike riding or supportive shoes for walking or jogging.Start every workout with a warm-up. If you plan to walk at a brisk pace, start by walking at an easy pace for 5 to 10 minutes. When you're done working out, do the same thing until your heart rate returns to normal.Drink plenty of fluids when you are physically active, even if you are not thirsty.Use sunscreen when you are outside.Always bend forward from the hips, not the waist. If you keep your back straight, you're probably bending the right way. If your back "humps," that's probably wrong.Stop your activity if you feel very out of breath, dizzy, nauseous, or have pain. If you feel tightness or pain in your chest or you feel faint or have trouble breathing, stop the activity right away and talk to your doctor.Exercise should not hurt or make you feel really tired. You might feel some soreness, a little discomfort, or a bit weary. But you should not feel pain. In fact, in many ways, being active will probably make you feel better.

The answer is based on source information from the National Women's Health Information Center.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.