People of all ages are heeding the advice to get active for the many benefits that exercise offers. It’s always great to get the heart pumping and the endorphins flowing. Being active and physically fit can seem like the healthiest thing for someone to do. However, being physically active increases the risk for injury and the statistics reported for injuries in all age groups are very high! Weekend warriors and amateur athletes are found to deal with some of the same injuries that professionals do. Studies find that typically there are over 2 million injuries in high school athletes a year – and more than half occur during practice. Endorphins interact with the receptors in the brain and can reduce the perception of pain. Injury can be more severe than initially perceived and so it is wise to not work through the pain as they say.
The phrase, “practice smarter, not harder” is very relevant in preventing injury. Keeping the body in balance and using proper form will always give better results both on and off the playing field. Also, prepare the body for the intensity of an activity and then slowly bring down the intensity to aid in the recovery process. Good advice is to stretch before and after the activity, maintain proper form, use proper equipment, and rest if fatigue overcomes you.
Practice smarter, not harder to avoid common injuries:
• Pulled Muscle
• Runner’s Knee
• Shoulder Impingement
• Shin Splits
• Tennis Elbow
• Ankle Sprain
• Achilles Tendinitis
Repetitive injuries are very common. Tennis players who repeatedly stress their forearm muscles may develop tennis elbow; runners whose shoes aren’t supportive enough may be plagued by shin splints or runner’s knee; baseball players who don’t work to strengthen a shoulder may find themselves with a shoulder impingement. Running is an essential element of many sports and it involves every muscle from the foot to the neck, putting particular strain on the legs and this leads to the most injuries.
Talk with a professional for ways to increase your limits without causing injury. Keep your body moving in a way that will bring lifelong benefits!