Injuries come in many shapes, sizes, and severities. Although not all injuries are preventable, some are. There are steps YOU can take to prevent injuries and feel your best every day. Below is a list of these stretches, exercises, and practices to assist you:
Proper nutrition for your lifestyle:
As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RD/RDN), I cannot stress the importance of choosing the right foods at the right time to meet nourish your body. If you are active, you need to consume additional calories to fuel your activity. A key component of nutrition is HYDRATION. Hydration is more than just water. In hot, humid, prolonged, and/or extreme conditions, you may need additional electrolytes to retain the water you drink.
There are all sorts of ways to incorporate daily movement into your lifestyle! Any type of movement that gets your heart pumping is adequate (examples include: walking, hiking, running, skating, rowing, skiing, surfing, etc..) . Try to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity daily. Strength training is important for maintaining strong bones and muscles. Plan strength training activities 3-5 times per week. It is important to perform a variety of different physical activities each week so the entire body gets a workout. Rest days are important in preventing injuries. Listen to your body’s needs and do anything that causes pain.
Stretching and strengthening practices:
These practices keep us stay “loose & limber”. Stretching and practices such as yoga & pilates, puts our muscles through their natural full extension(s) (sometimes with resistance) allowing built up tension to release and increased strength. When our muscles are in their natural and relaxed/unstrained state, they are able to function efficiently without causing unnecessary strain on other parts of the body. These practices aid in preventing injuries, strengthening muscles, and increasing flexibility.
Foam rolling, massaging, scraping, and other tension relieving practices:
Tension relieving practices assist in removing “knots” that form in the fascia layer between the skin and muscle. When knotted, the facia layer can hinder the ability of muscles to function properly and cause pain. Knots typically arise due to poor posture and/or excessive strain on the body. It is important to remove knots because they tend to get worse over time and they can result in radiating pain (ex: upper back pain that forms as a result of excess tension in the lower back).
Sleep is our body’s way of recharging. While we sleep, our bodies enter a state of recovery. Aim for 8hrs of sleep each night and keep the hours of waking and sleeping consistent. Failing to get enough sleep can result in sore muscles, fatigue, and poor concentration.
All of the above practices will aid in preventing and recovering from injuries. If there are any you are unfamiliar with, perhaps they are worth giving a try! Always listen to what your body needs. Consult your doctor before engaging in any of the above activities if you have any medical conditions.