Many articles and experts speak about how to reduce pain and inflammation after it has occurred. In this article I would like to tell you how to prevent body pain that happens as a result of exercise. You see, many of the aches and body pains that people experience as a result of exercise can actually be prevented by following these 5 simple rules.

Rule 1 - Warm Up the Body – Before engaging in any physical activity, the body must be warmed up. Basic things like jumping jacks, waist twists or light bouncing will do the trick. The warm up is used to get the blood moving, warm up the muscles, break the synovial capsules to release their joint fluid and to prevent injury. Simple range-of-motion movements will elevate respiration enough to make a difference before you start.

Rule 2 - Stretch Before and After – Once the body is warm, the muscles are ready to be stretched. You do not necessarily need to do intensive full body stretches before playing ping pong, but loosening the major muscles you will use in your activity is a must. As long as the muscle stretches are held within normal range of motion, and until tension is released, they will be effective. The important point is this: Stretch to feel good, not to be flexible. With that in mind, you won’t overstretch and cause injury.

Rule 3 - Target Weak Muscles – If you are doing strength training, be sure to vary your routine and target the weaker muscles. The larger muscles do in fact depend on the weaker and smaller ones to hold the body frame in place. Yet most people forget about the small guys in favor of making the big guys even bigger. Needless to say, they feel pain from muscle imbalances. So avoid this exercise pain by targeting the smaller and weaker muscles as part of your ongoing routine.

Rule 4 - Reduce Pain and Inflammation – Injuries like strains, tears and inflammation hamper exercise progress and overall health. It is therefore important to begin the healing process as soon as possible. If an injury is acute, it is best to apply cold within the first 5 minutes to reduce swelling. Ice packs, ice cubes, a frozen bag of peas or cold gels can be applied. On for 20 minutes, off for 20 minutes, continue as necessary. When swelling is down and the pain cycle is broken, stop the cold and apply heat. This will bring oxygen and nutrient rich blood to the area to relax muscles, remove waste products and promote healing. Additionally, supplements containing both a natural anti-inflammatory herbal extract and natural acid that increases flexibility and relieves joint pain can be taken.

Rule 5 - Rest When Injured – Regardless of injury type it is best to rest before engaging the body again. If the injury is not too serious, a day or two off and then easing back into exercise will do the trick. But for more serious injuries, a week or more of rest will be necessary to give your body a chance to reduce inflammation and repair damaged tissue. If you do not rest long enough, lack of rest can be a cause of further injury.

I hope these five simple rules will help you prevent injuries that arise from exercise. Simply warm up, stretch, strengthen weak muscles, reduce inflammation and rest … and you can enjoy your workouts injury free.

Author's Bio: 

Mark Wiley, O.M.D., Ph.D., is an expert in the management of body pain. He works with his patients to help them find the best pain reduction and management strategies that really work. He consults for