- Injury Prevention
Listen To Your Body
It’s important to listen to your body and be aware of your environment to avoid becoming injured. Over exertion and accidents are the leading causes of injury.
It’s important to protect your joints from injury, especially the hip and knee joints essential for daily walking and prone to wear and tear, to ensure a lifetime of comfort and activity. Take care on ladders, stairs, and on slippery surfaces. In day to day activities make sure you utilize the correct protective wear for sporting or work activity.
There are 3 steps to optimize injury prevention when engaging in sport or activity:
- Warming up: It is important to perform 10-15 minutes of cardiovascular activity to increase blood flow to the major muscle groups, increasing flexibility and decreasing chance of injury. By increasing body temperature and heart rate the joints begin to loosen and circulation increases to the major muscles, preparing them for quick movements and preventing stiffness that can result in injury.
- Stretching: It is also extremely important to perform a series of deep stretches to further warm up the muscles and increase flexibility, which will protect your joints and muscles during exercise. Improving flexibility consequently improves the range of motion in your joints. Better flexibility may improve your performance in physical activities, but works most effectively to decrease your risk of injury by assisting your joints through their full range of motion, enabling your joints to move naturally and safely. Stretching, along with all other exercises, should be performed with the proper form and alignment to protect the joints from injury. Performing a warmup and stretching sequence before engaging in activity is an integral part of injury prevention. Keeping the muscles warm will prevent acute injuries such as strains or sprains. Even if you do not participate in endurance activities, it is important to incorporate daily stretching to remain flexible and ensure a good ROM to counteract injuries from autoimmune conditions such as arthritis and gradual atrophy from stagnant lifestyles.
- Listen to muscle fatigue. When your body is tired from using the muscles repetitively this fatigue takes away from your protective mechanisms and increases your risk of injury the longer and harder you push yourself. Also, if you are starting a new sport or exercise it is important to properly train and strengthen your muscles gradually by increasing the rate or intensity of an exercise over time. Your body may not be ready to handle the demands of physical exertion immediately and training should be done progressively strengthen your body. Listen to your body and don’t be afraid to take a break.
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