Australia is known to be an active, outdoorsy nation; however, whether you’re an elite athlete, an active gym-goer, boot-camp-er, runner or weekend warrior, we are all susceptible to injuries. One million Australian are treated each year for sports injuries. However, it is comforting to know that 50% of which are preventable!
The human body is designed for activity. However given physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyles are on the rise many of us are probably not even aware of this. Technological advances have reduced the need for hard physical labour and consequently we are more susceptible to a range of health issues. It is this reduced level of baseline fitness that often predisposes someone to injury.
Follow these simple injury prevention strategies:
Let’s get physical...ly active. Physical activity helps create regular healthy habits to counteract high-risk situations such as prolonged sitting. It is a fundamental component of a healthy lifestyle as it promotes a multitude of physical, psychological and lifestyle benefits.
Adequate technique and posture is essential. Five controlled repetitions at the gym are more effective and much safer than twenty-five fast and uncontrolled repetitions despite what your trainer may be screaming at you.
Posture up! The more time you spend in a poor posture, the more likely your body begins to default to this position. Muscles begin to function inefficiently and then eventually, when they have all but given up…ouch. Hello, back pain!
Relaxed and correct core activation will help stabilise and control the movement through physical activity. The pelvic floor and lumbar mutifidus muscles are important in protecting your back with loading.
Controlling picking up/putting down weights is just as important as performing the exercise. Often people try so hard to maintain good form throughout the set, then as soon as the buzzer alarms they carelessly and subconsciously drop the weights which predisposes them to injury.
Listen to your body. If you are run-down, tired, injured or ill do not train through it.
Avoid over training as your body needs adequate rest and recovery to perform at its best and to achieve optimum fitness and strength results.
Staying for the warm-down despite how rushed you may be. You have worked hard for forty-five minutes; allow your body to have five minutes to recover.
edial massage is great after high-intensity training to assist with muscle recovery and flexibility.
Don’t DIY. Seek professional help. More often than not, self-appointed treatment options are just maskers of pain and don’t alleviate the true cause. Common mistakes are ‘cracking’ stiff joints, pulsed stretching with bad technique, misusing and become over-dependent on braces/strapping/aids, self-massage and manipulation. Physiotherapists are the experts in management and treatment of muscular, joint, tendon and ligament pain.
Pain can be persistent and outright frustrating. Get ahead and do your body a favour by implementing these healthy habits and behaviours today!