Injuries suck! Not only are you sidelined indefinitely (bye-bye calorie burning and the stress release that comes with it), but sitting on the bench can be as frustrating as watching a pot of water boil. The solution is just to avoid the injury in the first place. Easier said than done? No, not with these tips from Amon Ferry, MD, Chief Orthopedic Surgeon of Valley Orthopedics. He’s seen his fair share of patients with shoulder, knee… you-name-it injuries, and has some wise words of advice for how to stay in the game.
5 Tips to Stay in the Game by Dr. Amon Ferry
Listen to your body – Overuse injuries are common and occur when you repetitively overstress your body without appropriate rest. When your tissues are not given enough time to heal and rebuild, a minor injury can keep you from performing your best. This is not the time to “push through” an injury – you can make it worse. You can avoid overuse injuries when you listen to your body and stop when you feel like you are doing too much.
Treat your injury – If you notice an injury, start with RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) and advance your activities only while remaining pain free. Remember, some injuries may take a few weeks before you are back to your pre-injury level.
Start slow and work your way up – Ease slowly into a new or more intense workout program. Training errors often lead to injury when people do too much, too fast, too often. Try to avoid “hitting the gym hard” after a long period of inactivity. When you try to push yourself into a new exercise routine even slight change in form can overstress your body Use the 10 percent rule: do not increase either the time or intensity of a workout by more than 10% per week. Ensure appropriate rest between workouts to allow enough time for the tissues to heal.
Cross Train – Vary the type and intensity of your workout. By engaging in different forms of exercises, your body is stressed in a different manner with each session. This not only helps to prevent injury, but also adds to your overall fitness.
Have Fun! – Finding an activity that you enjoy is not only fun, but helps you will stick with it. Try a class or a new sport with friends.
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