Prevent the Most Common Exercise Injuries

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photo credit: quinn.anya

A lot of times, it seems like when we experience an exercise related injury that it happens all of a sudden. Over time, we can put a lot of stress on our muscles and joints. Injuries can occur simply from overuse. There are various easy ways to help prevent some common injuries.

Running Injuries

I enjoy running but I do worry about doing it too often to the point that down the road, I will have knee pain or other running related injuries. A few easy ways to help prevent a running injury are:

  • Watch your mileage – it’s not a bad idea to try and improve your distance but it isn’t necessary to run extra miles each week if you’re not ready. Forcing yourself to do so can easily lead to an injury.
  • Change your shoes – if you run daily, it doesn’t hurt to check the wear on your running shoes. If they are starting to look too worn, getting a new pair will help to absorb shock and provide stability.
  • Take it easy – some people love to run and will do so every day, however, that doesn’t mean you have to run hard each day. Consider alternating easy days and hard days.

Shoulder Injuries

The shoulders are another common area that can be prone to injury, particularly if you lift weights, swim, or play sports. One way to reduce this injury is to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles. A good exercise for this is the shoulder shrug. Some good exercises are demonstrated in the video below:

Leg Cramps

When I used to run every day, I almost always experienced leg cramps in the middle of the night. It would feel like my calf muscles were twisting into a knot. Some causes of this include dehydration and muscle fatigue. Remedies for leg cramps include:

  • Increasing water intake
  • Increasing potassium intake
  • Stretching regularly

Sprains

A sprain is an injury to a ligament. Ligaments are the tissue that connect bones to other bones. You’ll know when you have a sprain if the area is painful, swelling, or bruising. Very mild sprains may be treated by icing and resting the area, however, seeking medical advice is probably the best choice. You should seek medical attention for any severe sprain (cannot move the area, severe pain, numbness, etc.)

Ways to prevent sprains include:

  • Bend the knees, not the back
  • Don’t lift weight heavier than you can handle
  • Stretch often
  • Balance and agility drills (for ankles – a common sprain)

Resources:
http://www.suite101.com/content/most-common-exercise-injuries-a130714
http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/injuries/a/sprains.htm

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Author: Eartha Haines

My name is Eartha and I created this blog as a motivational resource for myself to keep up with exercise and eating right. I enjoy reading, learning, and writing about all things fitness related. I hope that as well as motivating myself, others may find motivation to try fitness as well. Learn more.

5 thoughts on “Prevent the Most Common Exercise Injuries”

  1. For leg cramps while running..
    Gradually increase the jogging distance, using the 10% rule. This rule says that a runner is allowed to increase the length of the running distance maximum 10%of the distance that he or she had run the previous week. After the race deep massage is the best therapy.

  2. These are very small things but we never think about them. Thanks for bringing to our notice.

    Even 2% of increment everyday in whatever you do will be more than enough. You will get used to it and the process also is gonna be smoother.

  3. Excellent post, Eartha – and one I wish is read and taken seriously by many. You reallt can’t overstate the importance of injury PREVENTION. Most of us are constantly concerned with figuring out how to train for best results, but spend way too little time and energy making sure that training doesn’t injure us. The long term cost can be immense – and I learned that the hard way: In early 2006 I suffered what at the time seemed like a minor injury to my left knee. Five years later I am stuck with jumper’s knee (patellar tendinitis), and the outlook is grim: It just doesn’t seem to want to get better no matter what is done, and the doctors are at a loss as to what to do about it. It seriously interferes with my training and it prevents me from doing a lot of the stuff I used to. You have no idea how much I wish I had started taking injury prevention seriously at an earlier point. I pay for that mistake every single day. It really is better to be safe than sorry.

  4. Brilliant post thank you. One of the most important things about fitness is avoiding injuries. However this subject is constantly overlooked. Another point in avoiding injuries is drinking plenty of water. keeping your body hydrated throughout your workout routine, run etc is so important. Really enjoyed reading thanks.

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