Archive for August 21st, 2007

Knowledge – The Key to Injury Prevention

preventionKnowing what injuries you are likely to encounter as you pursue your fitness goals through your own, tailored exercise program can help you prevent them from blossoming into serious, degenerative conditions that could cut your athletic career short. But an even more effective way to stay pain free and healthy is to follow a few, very simple and time honored training rules. You may have some of your own, and you should, by all means follow them if they work for you. Add them to the following:

The Build Up:
We adapt to stress by healing, knotting up and, given half a chance, maybe, becoming strong. If you are starting out or moving to a higher, longer or faster training level, do it gradually so that your body can adjust and harden as you go. As a rule of thumb, increase mileage on a comfortable base by no more than ten percent a week.

Intense workouts day after day will eventually wear you out and use up some important mechanism in your body – usually a weight bearing one. Plan and pursue your training as a continuum made up of sessions that alternate between relatively easy and relatively hard. When in doubt, treat yourself gently.

Take your full measure of seven to eight hours a night. Some people can thrive on less than that. But if you are pushing your body physically in regular training, your regular night’s sleep becomes an essential factor in your recovery.

Weight Control:
Regular aerobic training will go a long way to keep your weight at an optimal level. But if you are starting out overweight, or if weight control is a constant battle, be aware that weight bearing activity, like running, will exact a penalty from your weight bearing components. Eat enough to maintain your energy levels but no more.

Strengthen and Stretch:
Running and other aerobic sports like cycling can give you generally balanced training, and some athletes spend entire careers without indulging in any other kinds of exercise. But carefully designed and executed stretching and strengthening routines can greatly improve your running or cycling efficiency and offer valuable protection against injury from overuse. Once to three times a week is usually enough to do the job.

Cross Training:
Ride, swim, row, hike. Do something – anything in addition to your primary “thing.”: nothing trains you better to run than running, but training in other modes that you enjoy will enliven and extend your training life beyond measure.

Mileage limit:
Unless you are an elite, competitive marathon runner, you will eventually do yourself more harm than good if your weekly running mileage exceeds 40 or 50 miles. Over time at such a mileage level, overuse injury is virtually inevitable. Better to relax, broaden your interests and even stop once in a while to sniff the honeysuckle.

In Good Health,
Bernard L. Gladieux, Jr.
The Pressure Positive Company

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