Exercise strengthens your heart, helps you maintain a healthy weight, keeps your musculoskeletal system in shape and more. However, it’s possible to injure yourself while exercising. To stay safe and enjoy the benefits of physical activity, it’s important to keep these tips in mind to avoid an injury during exercise. 

1. Always Stretch Before Exercise

Stretching warms up your soft tissue so you’re more flexible when you exercise and less susceptible to an injury. 

2. Stay Hydrated

Your body needs hydration to regulate your body temperature, keep your blood pressure lower during exercise, and optimize circulation. 

3. Know Your Limitations

Don’t try to push yourself beyond your means. Know what you’re capable of, and never push yourself beyond that. 

4. Learn Proper Technique

Work with a trainer or coach to learn the proper form of any sport or exercise you participate in to prevent moving your body in a way you shouldn’t. 

5. Listen to Your Body 

Pain is the body’s alert system, so make sure you listen to your body when you feel pain. Pain means it’s time to reduce the intensity or take a break. 

6. Eat a Balanced Diet

Your body needs certain nutrients for muscle recovery, nervous system function, and energy, among others. This makes eating a balanced diet vital. 

7. Wear Supportive Shoes 

Your feet, particularly your arches, need support to prevent foot injuries and reduce your risk of falling.  

8. Use the Proper Safety Equipment

No matter which sport or exercise you perform, always use the proper safety equipment, whether it’s a helmet, knee pads, or protective eyewear. 

9. Always Exercise on a Hard, Level, Nonslip Surface 

Unless you’re rock climbing or hiking, you should always exercise on a hard, level, nonslip surface to prevent slipping and falling. 

10. Check for Any Obstacles Before Physical Activity 

Before you exercise, move anything sharp or that you could fall over.

11. Dress in the Right Clothing for Your Sport 

Always wear the proper clothing for your sport to protect your body. 

12. Get Flexible

Whenever you’re not participating in your sport or exercise, stretch your body to remain flexible.

13. Schedule Rest Days 

Even if you want to exercise every day, you shouldn’t. As a general rule, you need a rest day after every three to five days of physical activity to let your body recover. 

14. Switch Between Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise for Best Results

Keep your muscles and cardiovascular system strong by doing both aerobic and anaerobic exercises to strengthen your body against an injury.

15. Be Mindful of the Outside Temperature

If it’s too hot or cold outside, it’s okay to exercise inside or take a break to prevent injuries from the extreme temperatures. 

16. Don’t Exercise Immediately After an Injury 

Anytime you suffer from an injury, make sure you take time off to recover. 

17. Listen to Doctor’s Orders After an Injury

When your doctor tells you to take it easy for a few weeks or whatever the instructions are, always listen. 

18. Take Breaks When Necessary 

It’s okay to take breaks as needed during exercise to prevent overexertion. 

19. Gradually Increase Difficulty 

Slowly build up your exercise routine to avoid an injury from overextension or overexertion. 

20. Always Follow the Rules of a Sport

Know the rules before any physical activity and follow them carefully. 

21. Get a Physical Examination First 

Before any sports or physical activity, know for certain you’re healthy enough to participate safely. 

By knowing a few tips before exercising, you can stay safe and prevent a variety of injuries from occurring. If you do suffer an injury, always get the medical attention you need.