Health, Mind & Body

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How to avoid injury during these popular workouts

The risk of suffering an injury while exercising will never disappear entirely. Even the most seasoned athletes suffer setbacks from time to time, and even the most popular exercises are not completely risk-averse. With that in mind, the following are some favorite exercises and how to avoid injury when performing them.

• Jogging: Joggers should get adequate rest between running sessions and wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes when jogging. Avoid loose shoes so your feet don't develop blisters, and ice your knees after each workout to facilitate their recovery. Knee and foot problems tend to plague many joggers, so it's important that joggers take steps to reduce injury rather than telling themselves to push through the pain.

• Circuit training: Circuit training is popular because it allows time-pressed men and women to workout several areas of their bodies in relatively little time. When done correctly, circuit training is an efficient way to enhance cardiovascular fitness and muscle endurance. Circuit training participants do not typically do as many repetitions when working their muscles as they might when working out one muscle group at a time, and that leads many to lift extra weight. That can cause damage to the shoulders or other areas of the body that are engaged as part of strength training. Such injuries can be avoided by adding rest to a circuit training routine and taking more time between exercises. This may run counter to the point of such a routine, but it's well worth avoiding injury.

• Yoga: Yoga is an increasingly popular exercise that can improve flexibility and overall strength. But some yoga participants have suffered wrist injuries, pulled muscles and hip problems as a result of their yoga routines. Such injuries can be easily avoided by reinforcing your wrists with supports and not overdoing it when you feel your muscles are tight before or during a workout. If your instructor tries to push your body into a position you're uncomfortable in, speak up and say you want to avoid that position.

• Weightlifting: Weightlifting injuries are often the result of overdoing it with weights or not adhering to proper form when lifting. When strength training, don't go overboard with how much weight you are lifting. Start out with light weights and then gradually increase the weight until you reach a figure you are comfortable with. Before beginning a weightlifting regimen, consult with a trainer at the gym or read your equipment owner's manual at home to ensure you are following the proper form for each exercise.

Maryland Pennysaver