We all know by know how important exercise is, for both our physical bodies and our minds. Exercise has numerous health benefits and is the best way to combat aging.
However, sometimes injuries pop up and can sideline our best intentions. Most injuries are short lived, but some can last months or even years. The best way to deal with a painful injury is to avoid it in the first place! Luckily there are seven specific strategies that can help prevent you from getting injured and keep you exercising for the long term.
Research shows that using dynamic movements to warm up muscle groups is more effective than doing static stretches before a workout. Dynamic movements help to increase blood flow and more effectively warm up the muscle. Static stretches are best when done after a workout is complete to help cool the muscles down and stretch out tight muscle fibers. Dynamic movements should include a version of whatever activity you are about to do to warm that muscle group up properly.
Stretch out the muscle groups that you worked out. Hold the stretches for at least 60 seconds, focusing on slow and deep diaphragm breaths.
Regardless of what type of exercise you are doing, strength training should be incorporated to help build muscle mass and increase resilience. Strength training also helps to prevent bone density loss and will help increase performance. However, a plan for building strength is important so you don’t do too much too soon.
Prevention of an injury is so much easier than recovering from an injury! Your body is constantly sending feedback, but it’s up to you if you are listening and responding accordingly. Regular chiropractic adjustments help to keep your joints moving and your range of motion optimal. Additionally, regular massages help keep muscles from getting too tight and strained. Lastly, incorporating mobility work into your regular routine can help improve flexibility and address mobility deficiencies, which are common causes of injury.
Cross-training is important in preventing injury because it allows you to continue to build greater fitness without adding additional strain and repetition to overworked muscles. Cross- training is a broad term and is basically any type of exercise that is different than the type you are already doing. For example, if you are training for a marathon, try incorporating yoga and weight lifting on alternate days that you are running. Doing the same activity, or the same sport, for too long without any variation puts you at more risk for getting injured.
Rest days are just as important, or arguably even more important, than training days. Your body needs time to recover, and if that is neglected you are at an increased risk for injury. Recovery time allows the muscles to heal and recharge. There is no perfect amount of recovery time as it is different for each person, but finding what works for you and how much rest your body needs to perform its best is essential for preventing injury and fatigue.
Imbalances and asymmetries are natural within the body- to a point. However, when the imbalances become significant your body starts compensating, leading to potential injury. Knowing your imbalances is crucial to fixing them. For example, do both your glutes have equal strength? Can you balance with the same ease on each of your feet or does one wobble more than the other one? If you know where problems exist, it becomes easier to address and correct them, preventing that potential injury from cropping up. Not only does addressing your imbalances help prevent injury, but it maximizes your gains! If both your rotator cuff muscle groups are strong and dynamic, you can lift things overhead much easier! If one side is weak or has restrictions, it will limit your ability to increase the load, thus limiting your performance.
Taking proper care of your body does require some effort, but that effort pays off in dividends. The above seven tips will help you keep you exercising while preventing injuries. Injuries can be discouraging and can even cause some people to quit exercising, but with focus and attention to doing self care injuries can be overcome!
If you are in Charlotte and need extra help, book an appointment today at our Charlotte chiropractic clinic to learn how to start living a more pain- free and active life. Also check out our article and learn some things that might be making your back pain worse here.
Have back pain? Check out our blog on the top 5 tips for a healthy low back! https://promochiropractic.com/5-tips-for-healthy-low-back/
Author: Dr. Courtenay Schroeder
Owner & Chiropractor @ ProMotion Chiropractic
Helping you move better, feel better and perform better
The information and reference guides in this website are intended solely for informational purposes only to promote consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. The contents of this website are not intended to offer personal medical advice, diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any questions or advice on any exercise, medication, nutrition or supplementation.