Home workouts are convenient, cost-effective, and kind of awesome if you think about it. With the right equipment and plan, you can conquer your goals and see results in the comfort of your own space on your own time. But, Cordelia Carter, MD, orthopedic sports surgeon with a speciality in pediatrics and director of the Center For Women’s Sports Health at NYU Langone Health, told POPSUGAR that exercising at home without the necessary guidance might lead to an increased risk of injury.
That, of course, depends on what your goals are. Dr. Carter said that if you simply want to get on the treadmill in front of the TV to “turn your brain off” — sometimes you just need to sweat out the day with some Netflix! — that’s less risky. But, if you have specific aspirations for strength training, working out at home could result in an acute injury (a muscle strain, for example). That’s especially the case if you’re new to fitness altogether or you’re attempting a new workout for the first time. If you’re not careful, you could get hurt because you’re doing moves with incorrect form, you’re using weights that are too heavy, or you’re overworking yourself.
Without a proper regimen, you might not be able to recognize when you need a rest day, Dr. Carter said. And, besides being overzealous and doing more than you’re ready for, you might also push through signs of an overuse injury. “The body breaks down,” she said.
There’s always a potential to get injured — life happens — but there are measures you can take at home specifically to prevent that. Ahead, check out Dr. Carter’s tips for making these workouts safer. She suggested that people at a beginner fitness level, as well as those who are trying certain moves, or using equipment, for the first time, especially take note. And, even if you consider yourself to be advanced, there are still aspects of exercise you may not be accustomed to doing at home, so these tips can certainly apply to you, too.