5 Tips To Help You Avoid Getting Injured
February is here. The birds are starting to whistle in the trees, daffodils are beginning to pop up here are there and the evenings are starting to get longer (just).
This is the time of the year when you actually WANT to start getting outside and not have that guilty feeling that you should be getting outside.
So, while you are eager to start getting more active, picking up an injury is probably the last thing you want to happen. While it’s not possible to fully prevent injuries from happening, there are things you can do to help reduce the chance of an injury occurring.
So, let’s getting going with the 5 tips:
5 Injury Prevention Tips:
1- Know Your Training Load
This is something that catches a lot of people out. All the too’s.
Too much enthusiasm
Too much training
And all Too soon.
This all leads to an overload in what your tissues can handle, and injury can occur. This can occur in the form of a muscle strain, tendinopathy or just an excessive feeling of ‘tightness’ or pain.
It can to happen to sporty and non-sporty people. If you have a low chronic training load, where you train often, but don’t vary your training intensity, you can then pick up an injury when an occasion occurs when you have to push yourself more.
Also a high chronic training load is training very hard, all the time and not allowing time to recover.
My tip is: Vary your training intensity. Don’t train hard on successive days. Either allow yourself a day off or do something nice and light to allow your body to adjust and recover.
Tip 2 – Give more time to Strengthening rather than Stretching
The importance of stretching is debated a lot these days. However the value of strength training is backed up by a lot of research and stretching actually doesn’t have much research to back it up, with regards to preventing injuries.
Lets keep it simple. The stronger your body is, the greater chance it has of withstanding the loads placed upon it. My tip is to combine the two and do some eccentric strength training. This strengthens and lengthens the tissues in the one movement. Watch out though as you will be sore the following day as it more demanding on your tissues.
Tip 3 – Eat Well and Sleep Well
Again, common sense but often neglected. If you are going to be more active during the day then you have to look after your body that bit more. You should try to eat something within 30 minutes after exercising, ideally something with protein in it, to allow for growth and repair. Hydration is also very important and you need to stay well hydrated.
While most people are quite well educated on the importance of eating well, sleep can often be ignored. The more active you are, the more good quality sleep you will need. It is important that you are in a calm and restful state before getting into bed. If you train late, then allow time to relax after it, to allow your body to get into a restful state.
Also, breathing through you nose while you sleep can have a big impact on the quality of the sleep and how your body feels when you wake up the next morning.
Tip 4 – Get some advice on your technique
All activities will require some form of movement, where it is important to have good technique. For example running, hitting a tennis ball, doing yoga or lifting weights. These all require an element of technique to perform and if you repeatedly do them with poor technique, then you are going to be stressing your body in ways that it shouldn’t be stressed. This will lead to pain, aches and injury.
My advice is to get some help from a coach or someone who is experienced in this activity, especially if you are starting out and are new to the sport.
Tip 5 – Don’t ignore ‘niggles’.
My last tip is the most important one. Do not ignore aches and pains. They are there for a reason and must be respected. If you continue to exercise and train through pain and discomfort, you are asking for trouble.
You options here are to take a few days off and see if the pain subsides or else go to a physical therapist or physio and get it checked out. It depends on what your goals and aims are. If you are the type of person who needs to get out and exercise a couple of times a week, then you should seek professional help from a therapist and get these issues addressed before they get worse and lead to a serious injury.
Often a regular sports massage can be enough to keep your body moving along nicely and keep you free of ‘tightness’.
To sum up:
Hopefully, you can see that there is quite a bit that can be done to prevent non – contact injuries from occurring. Follow these 5 tips and you will be off to a good start however, if you need something more specific, then call me at the clinic and I’ll be happy to discuss it with you.
Have a great week