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Posted on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 3:59 p.m.

6 quick tips to prevent workout injuries

By Melissa Gerharter MS, RD

After all the training we do, it is important to make sure our muscles are healthy and strong to endure and accomplish our fitness goals. Below are a few tips to use in order to protect our muscles from injury.

1. Keep your muscles warm. Before starting a workout, make sure to keep your body warm internally and then eliminate layers as needed. You never want to start your workout with cold muscles.

2. Start slow. This involves slowly easing into new workouts. It is never a good idea to skip steps in a training plan.

3. Remain hydrated. It is always important to stay hydrated before, during and after a workout. Keep a water bottle around you as often as possible so that you are reminded to keep drinking water.

4. Focus on form. It is important to follow proper form when performing fitness workouts. Focus on figuring out the proper form for exercises, instead of repeating them incorrectly.

5. Pay attention to your body. If your body is in pain, pay attention and take it easy. Don’t workout through pain that could damage your muscles permanently.

6. Allow your body to rest and repair. The amount of your rest should be equal to the amount of the activity. One day on and one day off can be a good rule of thumb. Rest is just as important as the workout.

Follow these tips to ensure that your fitness training plans will not be disrupted by injuries. Remember they are small steps to follow each day that will greatly pay off in the end.

Melissa Gerharter MS, RD, CSSD is co-owner of Joust Strength and Fitness of Ann Arbor. She is also a part time lecturer at Eastern Michigan University. She can be reached at