I get lots of questions about injuries and how to deal with them, so I thought I should blog about it today. Rather than focus on how to accommodate them, I'm going to talk a little bit about how to avoid them.
We're so anxious to jump into training that we take a reactive approach to injury rather than a proactive one. Since I began in fitness, I have never suffered anything serious but yes, I have had minor injuries here and there. I take my training safety very seriously. As athletes, we weigh the RISKS of lifting against the BENEFITS it provides. My approach is simple: Takes steps to minimize the risk and when injuries happen, give them time recover.
We don't all have the luxury of professional equipment to use or fancy gym memberships so we make do with what we have. I often hear people recommending, "use what you have until you get where you need to be". I mostly agree, but it doesn't mean you should use bad equipment, bad shoes or risk safety. Believe me, I've not had the benefit of good equipment, gym memberships, and safety throughout most of my journey but I attacked things differently and I've used common sense. Unfortunately, many people use inferior equipment to save money or simply because they have no other choice. The truth is, inadequate equipment may limit progress or worse, may cause injury. Would you ever consider using a barbell with unbalanced weight on each side? Some do. It's a quick and easy way to cause injuries including muscle imbalance, poor posture etc. The use of bad shoes during squats can cause knee, back and foot injuries. How about sandals or bare feet around heavy equipment? Again, use what you have, don't be stupid about it. You'll get hurt or you’ll hurt someone else and your fitness goals will be farther away than ever.
Another great way to avoid injury: Get a good coach or trainer. If you assume you're doing things correctly just because you haven't hurt yourself yet, you may be in for an unwelcome surprise. Trainers have skills that can mean the difference between gains or a visit to the hospital. Make the time and the investment to speak to them. Always ensure that you are getting proper instruction during exercise. Remember that your health = life!!!
You've heard this from me and many others before but it's always a good idea to have a physician assess you for training readiness. It's better to know in advance than it is to find out when it's too late. Physicians are also far more knowledgeable than we are about how to rehabilitate injuries when they occur to shorten healing time and to mitigate chances for permanent injury. They'll also have a much better perspective about when to exercise and when to rest. BUT they can't help you if you don't seek their help. Smart athletes always know when to ask for help.
Alright, so here's a quick summary. It's better to avoid injuries than it is to rehabilitate them. Use common sense, skilled coaching and instruction, proper equipment when possible, and seek appropriate medical supervision when needed. And most importantly listen to your body. Sometimes, it's trying to tell you something is wrong and you'll know it.
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Live strong- Calyx