Min­imis­ing in­jury

> By tak­ing cer­tain es­sen­tial steps, we can get the most out of our train­ing reg­i­men and stay bruise-free as well

The Sun (Malaysia) - - LIFESTYLE - BY NEVASH NAIR

EV­ERY­ONE gets in­jured. From a world­class ath­lete to a stay-at-home par­ent, no one is im­mune to in­juries. Even sit­ting at a desk from nine-to-five daily can cause se­ri­ous dam­age to the body. One of the big­gest mis­con­cep­tions in the fit­ness in­dus­try is a say­ing that goes back a few decades. Any­one who has played sport or stepped into a gym would be fa­mil­iar with the phrase “no pain, no gain”.

This phrase re­lates to all the hard work and sac­ri­fice of an ath­lete, and is of­ten-times mis­un­der­stood as work­ing through pain.

It is time to re­think the strat­egy if your ap­proach to gym-sus­tained in­jury is to tough it out, har­den up, or some other hash­tag-wor­thy catch­phrase.

The key is to pre­pare our bod­ies ef­fi­ciently to avoid get­ting in­jured.

Dy­namic warm-ups Some 10 years ago, dy­namic warm-ups be­came a sta­ple in the world of sport after re­searchers found that stretch­ing a cold mus­cle in any way be­fore a work­out or com­pe­ti­tion may de­crease strength, power, and per­for­mance.

Dy­namic stretch­ing – a se­ries of move­ments de­signed to raise the body’s core tem­per­a­ture, fire up the ner­vous sys­tem and in­crease flex­i­bil­ity – if done cor­rectly, can help avoid in­juries and im­prove per­for­mance.

Start with a mild aer­o­bic rou­tine to get the blood flow­ing, be­fore go­ing into move­ments such as high knee walks, sun salu­ta­tions and hip stretches.

Static stretch­ing Dy­namic warm-ups may be all the craze at the mo­ment but that does not mean we should ne­glect static stretch­ing.

A dy­namic warm-up rou­tine gets the blood flow­ing and body’s core tem­per­a­ture el­e­vated be­fore work­ing out but static stretch­ing is a great way to cool down after an ex­er­cise.

Static stretch­ing helps the body re­lax and re­turn to a steady state of rest. Us­ing the reach-and-hold tech­nique, static stretch­ing can de­crease mus­cle ten­sion and in­crease re­lax­ation.

If you are new to stretch­ing, spend just 20 sec­onds on a stretch and slowly work your way up to 45 sec­onds. Re­mem­ber, not every mus­cle group has to be stretched. Just fo­cus on ones that are feel­ing tight.

My­ofas­cial re­lease Also known as foam rolling, self-my­ofas­cial re­lease is another term for self-mas­sage to re­lease mus­cle tight­ness or trig­ger points.

Us­ing a foam roller, self-my­ofas­cial ther­apy fo­cuses on re­leas­ing mus­cu­lar short­ness and as­sist in break­ing up mus­cle knots, re­sum­ing nor­mal blood flow and func­tion.

Usu­ally done be­fore work­ing out or every morn­ing, foam rolling helps im­prove flex­i­bil­ity and re­duce mus­cle sore­ness.

Foam rolling will in­crease blood flow through­out the body, al­low bet­ter move­ment and in­crease range of mo­tion – all the nec­es­sary com­po­nents to avoid in­juries. The body can then move bet­ter, re­cover faster, per­form ef­fi­ciently and have less pain.

Start with your calves as it is of­ten ne­glected and work your way up to your ham­strings, quads, hips, back and shoul­ders.

Re­cov­ery time and sleep Of­ten over­looked, sleep and al­low­ing the body to re­cover from a work­out are prob­a­bly the most im­por­tant steps to take to avoid in­juries.

Sleep is a ma­jor aid when look­ing to re­cu­per­ate as it helps growth hor­mone pro­duc­tion and in­creases blood flow.

Sleep helps the body in­crease bone strength and mus­cle mass, and build a strong im­mune sys­tem after it has been bro­ken down from a work­out ses­sion.

For those who have trou­ble tak­ing a day or two off to help the body re­cover, they should look at ac­tive re­cov­ery meth­ods such as walk­ing or yoga to in­jury proof their bod­ies.

Every work­out is like a mild in­jury that you have to re­cover from as there are mi­cro mus­cle tears. To avoid these mild in­juries from be­com­ing some­thing se­ri­ous, the body needs time to re­build it­self.

So by stay­ing ac­tive and in­jury free, we can get the most out of our train­ing reg­i­men. Take es­sen­tial steps to pre­pare the body and you will not re­gret it.

Nevash Nair is cur­rently on his own fit­ness jour­ney in Thai­land. Con­tact him via email at lifestyle.nevash­nair@the­sundaily.com.

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