Nothing interrupts your program like fitness injuries. You have to be injury free to be consistent with any fitness program whether you are a professional athlete or a weekend warrior. There are a few simple fitness tips you can learn to decrease your chances of being laid up for an extended period time. There are two broad categories of injuries: overuse and acute, or sudden. Overuse injuries, as you’d expect, build up over time and only manifest themselves after months or even years of stress. Acute injuries are immediate, although overuse often plays a role as well.
Preventing 4 Common Fitness Injuries
When it’s not a “good sore”
Everybody who exercises gets sore. There is a big difference, however, between mild pain after a tough workout and debilitating soreness that can last for days. This phenomenon is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) (source). Overdoing an activity after a layoff is a common cause for DOMS. In this case, prevention of fitness injuries is pretty straightforward: Take a conservative approach when returning to exercise and give your body a chance to get acclimated before gradually increasing the intensity. It’s always prudent to ease into any changes instead of shocking the body.
Too Much of a Good Thing
Overly long or intense workouts take a toll on your body, shortchanging the recovery process. This can lead to Overtraining Syndrome.
Symptoms of Overtraining include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Persistent aches and pains
- Decreased appetite
Keep a record of your morning resting heart rate. A sudden increase is a sign you’re not recovering. Prevention is a matter of managing the details. Check your workouts for excessive volume and frequency, make sure you’re getting enough sleep and take stock of your diet. Plan your fitness goals in terms of months and years instead of weeks. If you feel yourself going stale take a week or ten days off to recharge before easing back into your routine.
Shin splints are caused by repetitive trauma to the front of your lower leg. High impact activities like running are usually the culprit. They often show up when you make changes to your workouts too quickly.
Fitness Tips: Replacing your running shoes regularly and cycling your intensity to give yourself enough rest will help. Make sure you stretch the anterior tibialis muscle that runs the length of your shin. Stand with your arms resting on a wall. Bend your knee and flex your foot so your toenails touch the floor (source).
Take Care of Your Shoulders
Tendonitis of the shoulder is caused by inflammation of tendons, causing pain and hindering mobility. The shoulders take are heavily used in weight training, but also in many sports and daily life. The shoulder is a complex joint and it is important to warm up your shoulders before you workout. Reduce your overall workload to give your shoulders more rest because they’re used in most upper body exercises. Stop doing particular activities that irritate your shoulders (source). Tips as simple as switching from a standard dumbbell bench press to a neutral grip with the palms facing one another could prevent further discomfort and additional fitness injuries.
Injury prevention is something that should be factored into every workout routine. Using these simple fitness tips can have a huge impact on your results, the longevity of joints and muscles, as well as, your mental health. Take care of your body and it will take care of you!