This is the last installment of a five-post series on aerobic endurance training.
Ready to get started on an aerobic endurance training program?
Getting started is the most important thing, but once you’ve made the commitment, it’s important to keep in mind safety tips so you can train for endurance with as few setbacks as possible.
Although injuries can occur in any type of training activity, the likelihood of injury can be especially high for many aerobic activities since most involve repetitive motion sustained over time.
For example, as a high-impact, weight-bearing activity, running comes with a series of injury risks, including stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, calf strains, and others.
Here are three simple things you can do to help prevent injuries.
Warming up will help your body prepare for activity. Doing some light cardio or calisthenics for 5-10 minutes will help raise your body’s core temperature and lubricate the joints, essentially warming up your system.
A few light core and dynamic flexibility moves specific to the activity you will participate in can help prep the muscle groups you’ll engage during exercise.
For example, if you’ll be running, leg swings, single leg squats, lunges, and planks will help prepare your legs and core for the workout.
2. Cool Down.
A cool-down following repetitive aerobic activity can help you relax the muscles you’ve just worked and reduce the soreness you’ll feel the next day and beyond.
Whether it involves foam rolling, active flexibility, static stretches, or a combination of all three, the cool-down is also a great opportunity to reduce muscle tightness and work on range of motion.
3. Listen to your body.
Maybe it’s soreness that lingers longer than usual. If it is, sometimes just an extra day of rest or an additional day of active recovery with flexibility work may be enough to get you back into it.
But if it’s persistent soreness or pain, you may need more than just a few days off.
Sometimes cross-training or temporarily switching to another aerobic activity may help you recover. Another activity may challenge your muscle fibers differently and give you a break from the specific wear and tear from your primary activity of choice.
However, if it’s pain you feel, and if it persists after a week or two, it may be time to see your doctor to determine whether or not you’ve seriously injured something. If so, with some patience and professional guidance, you’ll be able to get back to reaping the benefits of aerobic exercise again soon!
© 2009-2015 Melissa Rodriguez
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