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Listen to the body and stay injury-free

Fitness experts give tips on how to avoid gym injuries and heal them. Do take note.

health and fitness Updated: Oct 16, 2011 16:53 IST
Priyanka Jain

Common pitfalls of exercising include injuries, aches and pains. But that’s no reason to stay away from the gym. Follow the tips these experts give to avoid injuries or to heal them.

Invest in a good gym

GymIf you exercise with the right intensity and support your workout with adequate

nutrition, hydration and rest, then it is highly improbable that you will get injured. "Most gym injuries are a result of incorrect technique. So invest in a good gym and a trainer," says Rujuta Diwekar, nutrition and fitness expert.

Do warm-ups
You need to warm-up nicely and cool down properly, before and after a workout. “Hrithik always does 10 minutes of stretching exercises. We start training only after he feels the body is flexible. And of course, you need to take care of technique,” says Satyajit Chaurasia, Hrithik Roshan’s fitness expert and personal trainer.

Correct your posture
Exercise postures should be correct. Else, it can affect your back and cause injury. You must rest for 30-40 seconds before changing sets. “Avoid exercising on an empty stomach. Eat carbs like bananas, apples, egg whites with brown breads 30 minutes prior to starting off,” says Deanne Panday, fitness expert.

Knee problem
Bipasha Basu has a persistent knee issue. Because of the constant pressure, it springs up every time she is rehearsing for a show. However, the problem has become better with weight training. “It is important to strengthen the muscles that hold and protect your joints. Bipasha works hard to make the knee issue go away. She also ices it down and rests,” says Panday,

Post-injury care
Lower back pain may happen due to sitting in front of a computer or TV for hours. It also happens due to wrong postures during exercising or lifting heavy weights without supervision. To prevent lower back pain, you need to do hyperextension exercises, which are good for strengthening. “Our body gives signals. So listen to it. If there’s lot of pain, see a physiotherapist or a doctor,” says Chaurasia.

SpaDon’t take a massage when your body is sore

Massages help in rejuvenating, relaxing and re-energising your mind and body. Healing is for the soul. Bina Patel, vice president, Jiva Spa, says, "Massages help in soothing or stretching your muscles, relieving tiredness and help you tone your body."

A common myth is that one should go in for a massage when you feel sore or tired. Bina disagrees, “When your body is sore, you should not take massage.” Actor Deepika Padukone strongly recommends a massage. She says, “Don’t wait for soreness or an injury to get a massage. It is important to pamper yourself once in a while. I am a sucker for massages. I particularly like Thai massages.”

Try Pehlwan maalish (90 mins)
This traditional vigorous massage is done with aromatherapy oil or mustard oil, which is extremely good for the skin, and relieve aching, sore and tense muscles. It is good for people who exercise regularly.
Vishram (60 mins)
This full-body relaxing massage helps melt away your stress, release tension, bringing ease and tranquillity to your entire system. Alternating palm and thumb strokes, skilled hands gently work on your tired muscles.