As another new year rolls around, a lot of the injuries we see in clinic involve going too hard with our new year’s resolutions too soon. It’s already difficult enough to implement an exercise program, and build new habits without injuries interrupting your new regime. So here are a few tips to reduce the risk of developing injury whilst exercising.
- Warm up – Warming up prepares your body for exercise by gradually increasing heart rate and circulation. Therefore a performance enhancing and injury preventing warm up is a must! There are many general warm up programs out there or come have a session with your physiotherapist who can design one based on your exercise type and your injury history.
- Take some recovery time- whilst the researchers are still undecided on ice baths and active cool down recovery, we know that ensuring adequate time between hard sessions is vital in reducing overuse injuries. Recovery doesn’t mean sitting on the couch or lying in bed. Try to remain active, just at a lower intensity. Eg. Short walks, gentle stretching etc and swap between high, medium and low intensity days.
- “You can’t go wrong getting strong” – No matter the activity, increasing your overall muscle capacity via resistance training can improve performance and decrease injury risk. For example the risk of ACL injury was decreased by 88% by using a 15min/day strength program for the lower limb (Mandelbaum et al 2005). If you don’t want to get into a gym, use some resistance bands or bodyweight exercises and build some muscle!
And if you have gone a little too hard on the exercise and are experiencing some niggles or pain, or want a little more guidance on staying injury free in 2020 come in and see one of our experienced physiotherapists at Ergoworks to help get you back on track to keeping those resolutions.