Sports Injuries: 5 Ways To Proceed With Caution

Dedicating time out of your day to be active is an important step in taking care of your overall well being.

Interval and weight training have been rising in popularity for many gym goers. These types of workouts provide high intensity in a short amount of time, which strengthens muscles and improves overall health and stamina. But with these rigorous workouts, many put themselves  at risk.

Accidents that occur in the gym are mostly preventable. While we all may experience minor injuries from time to time, an activity that is geared around your physical health should never put you in danger.

If you’re an athlete or someone who participates in regular physical activity, you need a doctor who understands sports and who can specifically address exercise-related conditions and injuries. South Coast Medical Group in Aliso Viejo helps treat athletes and active patients with the experience from Dr. Cheng’s extensive fellowship in sports medicine.

Prevent injuries with these 5 gym safety tips:

Don’t Skip Your Warm Up, And Cool Down

A workout is not complete without a proper warm up and cooldown. As you warm up before an exercise, your heart rate speeds up and pumps nutrient-rich, oxygenated blood to your muscles. Accumulate your body to what you are about to put it through in order to engage and prepare your muscles for specific motions. The cool down is just as important, as it helps prevent muscle cramps and dizziness while progressively slowing down your heart rate. An effective cooldown incorporates stretching to relax and lengthen muscles throughout your body while improving your range of motion.

Practice Equipment Safety

When exercising, being aware of your surroundings is crucial to keeping everyone – including yourself – free from harm. As simple as this is, many injuries are caused by equipment being in places it shouldn’t be. Leaving equipment such as heavy weights, medicine balls, or kettlebells on the floor creates a hazard for anybody walking nearby. Learning the equipment before using it is vital in performing a safe exercise.

Never Sacrifice Technique

Learning the correct exercise technique should be the starting point of everyone’s fitness journey and one that never ends. Form is one of the most important aspects of preventing injury in the gym. Using incorrect form while exercising will cause your body to become unaligned, placing your tendons, muscles, and joints in positions that can potentially cause tears and strains. If you are unable to lift a specific weight without the proper form, you should not attempt it.

Gradual Improvement

Your body will experience successful training effects if you gradually increase the time and intensity of an exercise. Respect your body’s limits to avoid overexertion. Doing too much too soon will increase your risk of injury. One of the most common injuries we see in our office is due to the lack of gradual intensity. For example, patients who have experienced a strain injury are normally derived from the overextension of the fibers in the muscle.  

Annual Health Check

Some health conditions do not show many symptoms and sneak up on even the most active people. Skipping an annual health check can put you at risk for irreversible injury or illness. Annual checks can help eliminate problems before they start.  In our office, Dr. Cheng is able to discuss fitness plans and proper advice to keep you active and healthy for as long as possible.


John Cheng, MD, is our family medicine physician and sports medicine specialist who can offer health services to athletes in Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, and Laguna Beach. Stop into our office to receive treatment for an injury, get a routine sports physical, or care for your overall health.