You want to leave the gym feeling like you’ve had a great workout — you don’t want to feel like you should take a trip to the doctor’s office. What can you do to avoid a workout injury?

1. Stay Hydrated

Dehydration increases your risk of accidental injury. It could make you dizzy and light-headed, which is dangerous in the gym. You don’t want to faint while jogging on a treadmill or carrying a heavy weight. 

If you’re working out in a hot environment, dehydration can also lead to heat exhaustion. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include painful muscle cramps, headaches, vomiting, diarrhea and high fever. If these symptoms are severe, you should seek medical attention immediately.

So, stay hydrated whenever you workout. Bring a water bottle with you every time.

2. Rest

Are you working out every single day? Are you doing a tough workout every time? Are you skipping rest days? You need to stop that. 

Rest days are important. They help your muscles recover from the microtears that you make during intense exercise. Without that rest, your muscles won’t fully heal before the next workout. They can be stiff, sore and fatigued. If you try to push past those feelings, you could hurt yourself. For instance, Achilles tendon tears can happen when runners overexercise and ignore warning signs like tightness and pain in their calves.

You don’t have to sit on the couch and do nothing on a rest day. These are some things that you can do at the gym on a rest day:

  • Do a light walk on the treadmill
  • Do a low-intensity ride on a stationary bike
  • Do a round of relaxing stretches
  • Do restorative yoga
  • Roll out your muscles on a foam roller

3. Go Slow

Ramping up your workout intensity too quickly can lead to injuries. You should increase the intensity gradually, bit by bit.

So, instead of trying to deadlift the heaviest weights you can find the first week you step into the gym, start slow. Practice with the deadlift weight bar first (this will be between 30 to 45 pounds all on its own). Make sure that you have the proper deadlift technique down with the bar before you add more weight plates. Go up little by little. 

4. Ask for Help

If you’re not sure what to do, ask for help! It’s what the staff at the gym is there for. It’s better to take a minute to ask a question than to risk making a mistake with a piece of equipment and hurt yourself. 

Most gym injuries happen as a result of individuals overcommitting or being over enthusiastic about working out. They also result from incompetent trainers that are not experts in what they claim to do. EMS training is a new form of fitness program that is run by the most experienced fitness experts. This means that you are guided by experts which automatically limits the chances of you getting injured. 

What If You Get Injured?

Maybe this advice will slip your mind when you’re at the gym, and you’ll find yourself with a workout injury. What should you do then? First, stop exercising. Do not follow the mantra of “no pain, no gain.” Pain is a sign that you need to stop. Pushing through could make your injury much worse. 

Then, assess your injury. Is it really painful? Are you exhibiting other symptoms (nausea, vomiting, fever, racing heart, etc.)? Do you see any physical signs of injury (for example, an abdominal hernia can show up as a bulge at the injury site)? If your answer is “yes,” you should seek medical attention. 

Don’t skip the doctor’s appointment—even to save money. If you’re worried about what the emergency appointment or prescription will cost you out of pocket, you could look into quick cash loans online as an emergency solution. As long as you meet the loan qualifications, you can send in an application. If you’re approved, those borrowed funds can help you handle the urgent treatment costs in a short amount of time.

Workout injuries can be serious. So, take them seriously!