Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Playing it Safe

There are a lot of things we can do when we workout to keep from injuring ourselves. To start with our backs have some of our strongest muscles but also some of our most easily injured parts. The famous martial artist, Bruce Lee, suffered till his death with pain in his lower back. He did some good mornings, an exercise where you bend from the waist and pick up a barbell and then straighten up. He did these without a proper warm up and suffered the rest of his life. A few minutes of proper warm up and he would have been fine.

Besides the warm up, which is vital, keeping your back straight is always the best way to work with weights. When you are doing the machines where you are sitting on a seat, always press your lower back into the seat to support it. Always always strengthen your lower back with exercises like yoga, Pilate's or calistetics done correctly before even thinking about using weights for lower back exercises.

Another good rule of thumb is to read the directions and cautions on any weight machine your are using for the first time. Or ask an attendant, that's part of why they are there. We men are the worst about not reading or asking for directions.

Caring for your body with safety aids such as lifting gloves and back belts is important when you are using free weights. You can avoid grief by not inventing creative new exercises also. If it's not done by anyone else or in any of the instructions books there is probably a good reason.

During the winter keeping your skin soft with lotions will go a long way toward keeping the itching and blisters at bay. Blisters are often the result of friction and smooth soft skin has less friction against clothes and shoes than rough dry skin. Putting on foot lotion before putting on your socks to go to work is a good time to remember. Showering with a body wash instead of a soap is a good way to keep all your skin from chaffing, especially on colder days when you tend to dry out.

Chap stick used several times a day, especially before and after walking/running outside is important to keep your lips from blistering. Wearing sun glasses is important in winter as well as summer to keep the chilly wind our of your eyes.

If you do a lot of pool running like I do a cheap pair of water shoes will keep you from getting sore on the balls of your feet from the rough surface of the pool. They will also give you some protection from the grates and drains when you hit them hard with your bare feet.

A product like Body Glide is wonderful to keep from chaffing anywhere that body parts rub together. Applied to your feet it can help with blister prevention also.

A little attention to detail before we exercise and keeping cautious of easily injured muscles will go a long way toward keeping comfortable while we are getting our steps or lifts in.

Thanks for reading

Safe Panda

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