10 Tips To Avoid Athletic Injury*
1. Start and STAY hydrated. Proper hydration takes place several days before activity. You can’t fill up the same day. You’ll only get stomach upset and can risk over-hydration.
2. Always start with a proper warm up of at least 5 minutes of low intensity continuous movement before beginning activity.
3. Maintain a strong core. Your core maintains proper spinal alignment and can reduce the risk of degenerative changes in the back. The core is composed of muscles above your pelvis up to your ribcage.
4. Stand/sit up straight!! Bad posture can wreak havoc on your neck, shoulders and back.
5. Begin your workout slowly. Start with a dynamic warm-up to prepare your muscles and joints for the activities to follow. Exaggerate the movements that you will be reproducing during your workout.
6. Stretch statically after your workout. Allow your warm muscles to return to their optimal resting length as a reward for their hard work. Utilize equipment (stretching straps) to avoid continued overwork of used muscles. Hold a strong stretch for approximately 30 seconds in a controlled manner. NEVER to the point of pain. ALWAYS repeat each stretch several times.
7. STOP activity immediately if you experience a sudden onset of sharp pain. Pain is your body’s only way of telling you that something’s wrong. Do NOT try to stretch out. Try resting easy for a few minutes. If pain continues. STOP and RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).
8. Inspect your footwear for signs of uneven wear often and replace as needed. At the first sign of aches/pains, inspect your footwear. Your footwear should be activity appropriate and should feel like you’ve just received a gift when you put them on. Appropriate footwear is your body’s 1st line of defense against concrete (the surface we walk on most).
9. Pain that doesn’t resolve in a couple of days is NOT normal. Seek professional assistance.
10. Allow sufficient recovery time between workouts of the same body parts. Allow at least 48 hours between bouts of intense exercise of the same body parts. That doesn’t mean that you can’t exercise every day. You can. Just allow appropriate rest between bouts of intense exercise to optimize performance. When you develop elite status after years and years of practice – your brain/body connections will allow you to repeat intense exercise daily. NOT UNTIL THEN!!
*Even with the best of preparation, injuries can still occur.