The new year has encouraged new health habits for many of us. Weight loss, new exercise routines and nutrition enhancements to name a few. However, with the focus being primarily on our physical appearance, we unintentionally forget to include injury prevention methods. Injury prevention is easily overlooked. We assume that our bodies will naturally respond to our mental wants when the time comes. Not thinking that, our bodies may be unable to physically perform certain body mechanics due to age, old injuries or new internal health issues. Therefore, it’s important to slowly transition into a new exercise regimen to reduce the risk of injury.
Injury prevention is defined as an effort to prevent or reduce the severity of bodily injuries caused by external mechanisms before they occur. Injury prevention is an important part of physical activity because it helps you achieve your goals while keeping you healthy and safe.
To decrease your chances of injury, here are 5 injury prevention tips to apply before you start your new exercise regimen.
Elongating your muscles through stretching prior to performing an exercise is very important. I recommend performing a combination of both dynamic and static stretches to increase your flexibility. Dynamic stretches involve motion such as swinging your leg from side to side in a controlled manner until you reach full range of motion. Whereas, static stretching involves no motion; bending over to touch your toes and holding the position. Incorporating proper stretching techniques into your daily fitness routine will help reduce injuries and allow you to freely perform and enjoy your exercises.
Wear the proper protective gear
Before any activities are performed ensure you have on the proper attire and protective gear. Wearing the proper shoes, head gear, padding and other protective equipment is important to decrease the risk of a serious injury or reduce the severity of one. For example, boxers’ footwear are designed with high ankle support to offer more protection. Without wearing the proper gear, a boxer would be more prone to sustaining a serious ankle fracture or sprain if an incident was to occur.
Proper Healthy Nutrition
Yes, nutrition is very essential to injury prevention. Injuries are usually a sign of an imbalance diet. Have you ever eaten a greasy meal prior to performing sprints? Not the best feeling, right? More than likely, you became nauseated and regurgitated your food. Or, you didn’t properly hydrate, hello muscle cramps and dizzy spells! Consuming the proper nutrition will ensure that your body can perform effectively at its optimal level. Decreasing the occurrence of muscle tears/ strains and promoting faster recovery.
Taking time off and allowing your body to recover is equally as important as exercising. The body needs a balance of physical activity as well as rest. After your body has went through a series of fitness activities, incorporating rest days are essential to allow your body. Rest allows your muscles, bones, nerves and connective tissue time to rebuild. This will Improve your overall strength and endurance. During this rebuilding process, a balanced diet is also essential to ensure all adequate nutrients are provided to the muscles for proper repair and energy.
Consult your physician
Obtaining a physical prior to performing a new activity is helpful in locating any areas of concern. Also, ensuring that your body is able to perform the activity. If concerns are identified, they can be addressed immediately to reduce further injury to that area or preventing a more serious incident.
Now you are properly prepared to get up and go!
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.