From a strained quad to a torn ACL, a sports injury is par for the course if you’re an exercise fiend, but this does not have to be so. These tips will help you create a sustainable work out routine and avoiding those pesky injuries that can result from regular wear-and-tear.
Book a Physio Appointment
If you’ve had the misfortune of sustaining an injury before (either recently, or even years ago) the ramifications of that injury can go on long after the pain has gone away. Old injuries can have a domino effect because they can cause muscle imbalances due to muscle loss. This means your other muscles could be having to overcompensate for the damaged or weaker muscles since the time of your injury. This process can be quite subtle, and chances are you won’t even notice. For this reason, it’s wise to see a physiotherapist who can identify and help you correct those subtle imbalances, which will reduce your risk of future injury.
Of course, regular physiotherapy is not within everyone’s budget. An intensive course of physio may not be necessary, though, as even one session could be enough. A physio will be able to identify the most important areas for you to work on, and give you advice about how to correct these imbalances going forward.
Stretch (Always, Always!)
Whether you’re a competitive sprinter or a casual jogger, your muscles, tendons and ligaments are all going to suffer from wear and tear. Even if you understand that stretching is the way to go, it can be hard to make yourself stretch every muscle group after each and every gym session. One way to get yourself into stretching is to remind yourself that stretching should not be considered an extra phase in your workout. Rather, you should see it as a vital step in your workout routine, one that deserves time set aside for it. It is no less important than your cardio or weights routine, and should be given equal care and emphasis accordingly. Remember, a good stretching routine could be the thing that transforms your daily exercise from a risky habit (with injury imminent) to a sustainable long-term routine.
Do Not Exercise When You Are Injured
Athletes from every sports discipline find it hard to stop themselves from exercising when they are injured. There are lots of compelling reasons why you might want to exercise despite the fact that you could hurt yourself further. Your team may be depending on you, or perhaps you’ve gotten hooked on the endorphin rush that you get from exercise and are at risk of being an exerciseholic. Either way, it’s not always easy to give up on your workout routine when you know that a couple of painkillers and ice could be enough to get you through. Children find it especially hard to sit out when they want to join in the fun, so it’s vital to educate youngsters about the potential long-term dangers of exercising on an injury.
Whether you’re a serious athlete or you see working out as a necessary part of a healthy lifestyle, these tips will help you avoid injury and keep your exercise routine going in a sustainable way.