When it comes to exercise, you often hear people saying, ‘no pain, no gain,’ but what happens when you push yourself too hard? The ideal scenario is to work hard and challenge yourself without putting your body at risk. So, how do you know how far or how hard to go? If you’re keen to reach the dizzy heights without ending up with an injury, here are some pointers.
Set realistic targets
Being ambitious and determined has many benefits, but it can also do more harm than good. It’s always beneficial to work towards a goal but make sure it’s realistic. If you set yourself targets that aren’t achievable, you run the risk of injury, and you’re likely to lose heart and motivation. If you’re new to lifting weights, for example, don’t expect to increase your personal best by 20 kg in the next 2 weeks. Keep it real, and take manageable steps.
Work with a trainer
Sometimes, we struggle to find the motivation to give ourselves that extra push. When it gets hard, we give up, or we don’t take things to that higher level. If you work with a trainer, they can push your boundaries without endangering your health. They know how far you can go, and they can take you there without hurting you. A trainer has expertise in conditioning the body, as well as building strength and stamina, and they will know how to get the best out of you. Your trainer can also encourage you and give you that extra bit of motivation you need to succeed.
Use protective equipment
If you’ve had an injury in the past, or you’re worried about particular joints or muscles, you may be able to take advantage of protective equipment, such as compression socks. These stockings increase circulation, and they can also facilitate healing, and protect the joints.
Take a break
You may assume that the more you train, the faster you’ll get fitter. However, this is not strictly true. There is such as thing as overtraining. It’s brilliant to work out regularly but take time to rest. Have a couple of days off between sessions in the gym or alternate intense workouts with gentler activities, such as swimming.
Find something you love
If you love something, you’re much more inclined to give it your all. If you find exercise boring, your motivation levels will dwindle quickly. If you don’t like the gym, for example, try a team sport, go trampolining, or take your friends along to a class. There are so many activities you can try. Working out shouldn’t be a chore. You may not look forward to every session, but it’s always good to have a level of enjoyment.
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Whether you’re a seasoned pro or you’ve just discovered the joys of exercise, it’s always good to push yourself. But you don’t want to cross that line, and end up putting your body at risk. With these tips, you’ll be able to get the best results without worrying about putting your health on the line. Good luck!