Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Preventing The Top Ten Injuries In Sport
Most of the injuries here are classified as "overuse injuries". These tend to have chronic symptoms of pain which build up over periods of time. Here are some tips to give you a better chance of avoiding overuse injuries:
1 Instead of cutting down on your exercise, create a plan which includes rest days between each specific workout. Rest days don't have to be complete rest from exercise or sport. For example, a rest day from jogging can be spent swimming or cycling. Although I do recommend including at least 2 days of complete rest in each week.
This "cross-training" aspect will work all areas of your body in the long term, and allow each specific part (e.g. knees or shoulders etc.) enough time to recover. That will keep any repetitive stress on any one muscle or joint to a minimum.
2 Specific stretching in your cool down is crucial. Research about stretching is never ending, and rightly so when it comes to injury. You should never stretch cold muscles, this may actually cause injury. General stretching should be included at the end of your warm up. But the biggest factor in preventing injury is specific stretching after your workout, in your cool down. Specific stretching means focusing thoroughly on the muscles used in your workout.
3 Include specific strength training exercises in your workout plan. No matter what your main exercise or sport is, you need to keep the most used muscles strong. This specific strength will reduce the affects of repetitive stress on your bones, muscles and joints. Ease into new activities to allow your specific strength to build up.
4 If you have an injury, no matter how great or small, you need to recover properly. Don't view it as something that will go away in a couple weeks. That attitude will invite more injury. An injury needs time only to heal. But healing isn't recovery. You need to take more time to re-build specific strength and flexibility. Then you can start to ease back into your exercise or sport.
5 Have the correct footwear or equipment for your activity. Think about the size, comfort and fit.