Important to Stay Aware of Surroundings, Exercise Form
Some people enjoy working out since it allows them to mentally zone out and not think about what’s going on at work or home. But blocking out the world around you while running, walking, biking or lifting weights is not the best idea since it raises the risk of injury and you also may not get the most out of your exercise time.
One way those who exercise try to block out the world is by turning their music up loud. That’s not a good idea since the loud music can harm your ears and it may block out important sounds you should be hearing to keep you safe, such as an oncoming vehicle. How loud is too loud when it comes to music? If you cannot hear any outside noise, such as people talking in the gym or cars driving by if you are outside, that is too loud.
Paying attention while exercising is vital to staying safe. If you are exercising outdoors and not paying attention to your surroundings, there is an increased chance of injury. For example, you could stumble over something in the road, drop a weight on your foot or be caught off guard by other people running or biking. When exercising outdoors, you also need to be aware of vehicle traffic and animals since you may need to make adjustments in what you are doing to avoid a collision. In addition, if you have your headphones on and are not paying attention, you may be unaware if someone is following you.
Being aware of your surroundings when working out indoors is also important. You could lose your footing on the treadmill or get a little too close to someone lifting weights – or if you’re lifting weights, you may be getting too close to someone passing by.
People who zone out during their workouts also put themselves at risk of not making the most of their exercise time. When you do not pay attention in your workouts to your form or pace, it is easy to do just the bare minimum and not push your body to get stronger. When lifting weights, it is especially important to pay attention to form since using incorrect form can cause an injury.
Another thing to remember when exercising: don’t rush through your workout, keeping an eye on the clock the entire time. That can also cause you to lose focus and lessen any stress reducing benefits that you receive. When exercising, being mindful of your activities not only helps reduce stress, it can make you feel better about what you are doing and even improve your workouts.
Alyssa Tessaro is a licensed athletic trainer with ThedaCare Orthopedic Care and provides services to students at Princeton High School and Green Lake High School.