Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Overuse injury: How to prevent training injuries

[Editor Flahiff’s note…About two years ago I started working out at the Y, at age 53. Theses guidelines do work! at least they did for me. Mixing up the routine has kept me motivated. My weekly routine includes swimming, jogging, balance routines, and strength training. It has made a difference. After a few months, a co-worker commented I had color in my cheeks and didn’t look so ashen. While I will never be Ms. Olympia (or whatever the title for women weight lifter is) it is now easier to lift 20 pounds. ]

Excerpt from the Mayo Health clinic article

Most overuse injuries are avoidable. To prevent an overuse injury:

Address medical conditions. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting a new type of physical activity — especially if you have a medical condition that may predispose you to an overuse injury. You may need to correct imbalances in flexibility and strength or, if you’ve had a previous injury, work to restore range of motion, muscle strength and stability. Your doctor may offer tips to help make physical activity safe. If you have a muscle weakness in your hip, for example, your doctor may show you exercises to address the problem and prevent knee pain.

Use proper form and gear. Whether you’re starting a new type of physical activity or you’ve been playing a sport for a long time, consider taking lessons. Using the correct technique is crucial to preventing overuse injuries. Also make sure you wear proper shoes for the activity. Consider replacing your shoes for every 300 miles you walk or run, or — if you regularly exercise — at least twice a year.

Pace yourself. If you’re starting a new physical activity program, avoid becoming a weekend warrior. Compressing your physical activity for the week into two days can lead to an overuse injury. Instead, aim for at least two hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or one hour and 15 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity — preferably spread throughout the week. Always take time to warm up before physical activity and cool down afterward. Also keep in mind that as you age, you may not be able to do the same activities that you did years ago. Consider ways to modify activities to suit your abilities.

Gradually increase your activity level. When changing your activity level or the amount of weight you’re using while strength training, keep it gradual — such as increases of no more than 10 percent each week until you reach your new goal.

Mix up your routine. Instead of focusing on one type of exercise, consider combining two or more types of physical activity, also known as cross-training. Doing a variety of low-impact activities — such as walking, biking, swimming and water jogging — in moderation can help prevent overuse injuries by allowing your body to use different muscle groups. Strive to include aerobic exercise, strength training, stretching, core stability and balance training elements in your routine.

Additional Web sites
Sports Fitness (MedlinePlus) has links to recent news items, nutrition tips, specific condition information, organizations, and more
Physical Activity Online Resources (American College of Sports Medicine) has guidelines, handouts, position stands, and tailored information for women, youth, and seniors

December 7, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , , | Leave a comment