Spring is here and summer is fast approaching, meaning motivation and activity levels are peaking! Here are 6 ways to stay injury free training this spring getting ready for that summer body.
1. Strength training
Strength training helps to increase tissue tolerance and endurance through loading. In recent studies strength exercises have shown a tendency toward reducing injury rates. It was shown to reduce sporting injuries to less than 1/3 and overuse injuries were almost halved!
The most important part of recovery is REST. Not incorporating rest into your training regime leads to muscle fatigue and results in overuse injuries. Other effective recovery techniques include stretching, foam rolling, hydrotherapy, cryotherapy and the use of compression garments. Set aside 10-20 mins after training dedicated to recovery techniques, have a rest day & see the difference!
3. Appropriate footwear
Correct and supportive footwear ensures your feet are in an optimal biomechanical position, which reduces excessive pressure on the whole body. Everybody’s biomechanics are different; therefore each individual requires a certain type of shoe. If you are unsure what type of shoe is best for you consult a health care professional such as a podiatrist.
4. Hydration and sleep
Water provides muscles with energy at a cellular level by assisting with transportation of vitamins and minerals in the body. Not drinking enough water can lead to waste build up, muscular fatigue and stiffness. A lack of sleep leads to poor brain function and poor performance. We need adequate sleep for our bodies to repair themselves through protein synthesis and hormone release that occur during sleep cycles.
5. Warm up and cool down
Warming up prepares the body for activity by increasing your heart rate and the circulation of blood and oxygen to muscles. Conversely, cooling down helps decrease heart rate slowly and drain waste build up in muscles. So even if you are going for a light 20 minute jog, warm up and cool down!
6. Listen to your body
If you are excessively tired, fatigued or in pain it is your body’s way of telling you to have a break and you shouldn’t ignore these signs. There are certain situations where “no pain, no gain” is not applicable and if you continue to train you may be doing more harm then good. Take it slow and have a recovery day.