No matter what the injury, being injured is not fun. The injury itself can be painful and the recovery time keeps you down. Nobody likes being injured! Did you know, injuries are a leading cause of disability for people of all ages – and they are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 44. But, there are many things people can do to stay safe and prevent injuries. There is so much information out there about injury prevention, we just wanted to share a few overall health tips to help you stay injury free in any situation.
- Warm Up Warming up is extremely important to a successful workout or training session. However, it’s even more important to reducing your risk of injury. By warming up, you’re making sure that your muscles are receiving enough blood and nutrients to work properly. Starting a hard workout before warming up means you’ll be working muscles when they don’t have enough fuel to take on a hard workout. Think of turning on your car in the cold weather and trying to accelerate fast. Your car has a harder time running without properly warming up first. It’s similar to working out before warming up. Strains are one of the most common injuries resulting from not warming up properly.
- Get Enough Sleep Getting enough sleep means your body is getting the rest it needs to perform at optimal speed. It means you’ll be more alert and less likely to end up with a traumatic injury from a stumble and fall. The body needs sleep to rejuvenate. Without that rejuvenation time, you’re more likely to injure yourself.
- Know When To Rest Over-training is one of the biggest leaders of injuries, especially overuse injuries like strains. Similar to getting enough sleep, your body needs time to rest between hard workouts. Overworking your muscles means putting more strain on them than what they can handle. Knowing your limits and listening to your body can mean the difference between staying pain-free and getting an injury.
- Know Your Weaknesses Everybody has a weakness. This weakness is what leads to injuries like strains and tears. Learning where your weaknesses lie means that you can target those muscles and strengthen them. Athletic trainers and physical therapists are especially knowledgeable in determining a weakness. They can then suggest proper training techniques and exercises that will strengthen those areas.
- Cross-Train and Condition Ensuring you’re working all the muscles means that you’re strengthening your body as a whole. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments all support each other. Whether you feel like you’re using a particular muscle or not, it’s supporting your body in one way or another as you work. Cross training will ensure you’re working all the muscles of the body, and not just specific ones. Cross training and conditioning leads to overall fitness, making sure you’re strong and well rounded.