- Keeping yourself healthy by exercising is one of the best things you can do this pandemic.
- If you’re new to exercise, remember to take it slow to avoid overuse injuries.
- Make sure to give your body a day or two for rest and recovery to keep it in tip-top shape.
Because of the pandemic, at-home workouts have become the rage. And while your workout environment is one you’re very familiar with, it’s still important to take the proper safety measures to avoid workout injuries.
Here are some safety tips recommended by doctors and fitness experts for an injury-free home workout:
Clear the space.
Before starting your work out, ensure that you have enough room for exercise. To do this, put your arms up and out to the sides and spin it 360 degrees, suggests Dr. Derek Ochiai, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine doctor at Nirschl Orthopaedic Center. He also says to check the floor for anything else that could get in the way and cause you to trip and fall or hurt yourself, like weights, kids’ toys, and books.
New York City-based Tatiana Lampa, CPT, corrective exercise specialist and trainer, recommends moving furniture if you need to have ample room to jump around. She also reminds keeping weights in front of you while doing other movements, so you see where they are.
Wear your sneakers.
Dont use your outdoor sneakers for your at-home workouts to avoid bringing germs into your home.
Meanwhile, Ochiai suggests working out barefoot, which helps the nerves in your feet get a better sense of the ground beneath you, giving you a better push off when you do squats and deadlifts. When you decide to workout barefoot, make sure the floor is clear of anything that can injure you. If you prefer to exercise in socks, wear those that are non slip.
Know your body.
Lampa reminds everyone to choose a workout that feels good on your body. On the other hand, Ochiai cautions those who are new to exercise to take it slow when starting a workout routine to avoid overuse injuries, causing you to stop and not work out again. He recommends starting with a first timer-friendly workout, progressing from there. Lampa suggests working with trainers who can provide you with an individualized program, decreasing your injury risk.
Ochiai stresses exercising with the goal of building habits so you can maintain a long-term workout routine.
If you have enough time to work out every day, Ochiai says to avoid repeating the same movements or alternating them between days. Tampa recommends allotting at least one or two days a week to take a bath, do some foam rolling, or watch Netflix as a form of rest and recovery. She also recommends planning a weekly routine to avoid overdoing it, and to bring a sense of normalcy to your life, especially this pandemic.
Perform exercises to counteract the hunch position.
If you’re always working on the couch or sitting in front of your computer in a hunched position all day, try to perform some posterior chain exercises like deadlifts, bridges, bent over rows, and band pulls. Ochiai also suggests standing up whenever you can to do some extra core work, like a 30-second plank or exercises like the superman and bird dog.
Have fun with it.
Both Tampa and Ochiai agree that the most important thing is to have fun with your workout. You may also consider joining an online workout community or a group class for added support or motivation.