FITNESS GAINS WITHOUT THE PAIN
SPORTS INJURIES ARE ALL TOO COMMON, BUT WITH THE RIGHT TECHNIQUE THEY DON’T HAVE TO BE
Elite athlete, gym-goer, boot-camper, runner or weekend warrior – every fitness tribe is susceptible to injuries. One million Australians are treated each year for sports injuries, but it’s comforting to know that half of these are preventable. The human body is designed for activity, however, with our increasingly sedentary lifestyles, many of us aren’t aware of this. Technological advances have reduced the need for hard physical labour and consequently we are more susceptible to a range of health issues. It is this reduced level of baseline fitness that often predisposes someone to injury, but these prevention strategies can help:
Physical activity helps create regular healthy habits to counteract high-risk situations such as prolonged sitting. It is a fundamental component of a healthy lifestyle as it promotes a multitude of physical, psychological and lifestyle benefits.
FOCUS ON TECHNIQUE
Five controlled repetitions at the gym are more effective and much safer than 25 fast and uncontrolled repetitions.
PAY ATTENTION TO POSTURE
The more time you spend in a poor posture, the more likely your body begins to default to this position. Muscles begin to function inefficiently and then eventually, when they have all but given up ... ouch. Hello, back pain.
Relaxed and correct core activation will help stabilise and control the movement through physical activity. The pelvic floor and lumbar mutifidus muscles are important in protecting your back with loading.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
If you are run-down, tired, injured or ill, do not train through it. Your body needs adequate rest and recovery to perform at its best.
You have worked hard for 45 minutes – allow your body five minutes to recover. Remedial massage is great after high-intensity training to assist with muscle recovery and flexibility.
DON’T DIY TREAT
More often than not, self-appointed treatment options don’t alleviate the true cause. Common mistakes are “cracking” stiff joints, stretching with bad technique and misusing braces or strapping. Physiotherapists are the experts in management and treatment of muscular, joint, tendon and ligament pain.