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Prevent Exercising Injuries: The Whole Body Approach

Mar 24, 2021

 

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Prevent Exercising Injuries

We all experience some little twinges of funkiness or slight pain during our workouts. Most of the time it is just our body adjusting to the action we’re subjecting it to. Learning the quirks of your body can help prevent exercising injuries. However, there are some pains that need a little more consideration.

When I started running, my body went through all kinds of pain. I quickly learned that most were due to the fact that I had not been a runner previously.

Ever.

I also learned that the way I was running was incorrect. Once I got some understanding under my belt, I felt much better. Then, one day, it hurt to walk. My left knee struggled when getting out of my work chair. I tried stretching, Ibuprofen, even Icy Hot. Nothing worked. When I went to my doctor, he determined it was my Iliotibial Band. A common runner injury from lack of proper stretching.

Once I got my knee feeling better and learned proper stretching prevention, my running was much better. Now I’m very aware of any of the pain I feel along my IT band. And when I feel any pains of concern, I make sure to utilize the necessary techniques so I don’t need to take days or weeks off from training.

Listen to your body

Listening to your body is not just important for training purposes. Even if you’re not training for a race or triathlon, you can still develop injuries that can temporarily (or even permanently) keep you from your goals. “No pain, no gain” is not the mantra to live by when working out or training. Yes, there will be muscular pain as we develop and work different muscle groups, but consistent and constant pain is not a good sign.

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Homemade sore muscle rub

If there’s any question as to whether or not you should be concerned about any pain you feel, it’s better to take the precaution. Rest, apply an ice pack, use a natural sore muscle rub or make your own homemade sore muscle rub, and wrap the area if possible. And while I don’t advise getting too comfortable with taking Ibuprofen or other NSAIDs, if you feel it’s necessary, take a minimal dose. Remember though that NSAIDs can help decrease pain, so increased movement could cause further pain and/or injury down the line.

Preventing muscle injury

If you develop a sport specific injury (IT band, tendonitis, etc), learn the proper stretching techniques to make sure these injuries are a minimal concern. We’ve all heard how proper warm-ups and stretching is imperative to keeping our bodies healthy during exercise. And even though I am still horrible at actually doing enough of it (yes, I frequently do not listen to my own advice), in the long run, it could be the most beneficial part of exercise that you can do for your body.

Utilize restoration days

Lastly, another piece of advice I have a hard time following is to take a day off and let your body rest. When I’m training for a triathlon, or in a zone with my strength training, I fear days off because I’m afraid I’ll become complacent. Plus, let’s be honest, working out creates amazing endorphins that make us feel GREAT! But days off are essential.

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Active recovery, or what Paula calls ‘Restoration Days’, can still provide you with your “rest day” and keep you moving at the same time. So instead of a run, try a walk with your pup, play frisbee with the kids, or even triple up on your basic stretches that you do before and after workouts (without the workout in between). Even these low key activities can provide some happy endorphins, plus, keep your body happy too.

 

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