Efficient Exercise: How to Prevent an Overuse Injury

Whether you’re thinking you really should exercise more, or you want to give your current training routing a boost, you need to consider how the added activity might affect your wellness. Doing too much too soon can put you at risk of an overuse injury, which could ultimately prevent you from doing the activities you love, and benefit your health. Typically, overuse injuries are causes by training errors (such as going too fast, exercising for too long or simply doing too much of one type of activity) and technique errors (like using the wrong form and overloading certain muscles. If you do injure yourself when exercising, you should consult your GP as soon as possible. However, the good news is that most overuse injuries are avoidable, so you never need let it get to that point.


1. Be in the know: It’s all-too easy to start a new sport or activity and do yourself a mischief because you’re not using the right technique. You may not notice immediate pain, but the exercising using the wrong form can take its toll on your wellbeing over time, until one day something snaps. Whether you’re about to pick up a new activity or you’ve been at this for years, it might be a good idea to have a few lessons and ensure your technique is where it should be – Who knows? It might even improve your performance!


2. Dress for the occasion: While all the high-tech gear on the market probably isn’t necessary for you to perform well, one thing every athlete needs is the right pair of shoes. If you’re walking or running, you should aim to replace your shoes every 300 miles or so. For those of you who prefer other forms of exercise, and workout regularly, you should replace your shoes at least twice a year.


3. Pace yourself: You know you’ve become a weekend warrior when you begin compressing a week’s worth of physical activity into just two days. However, this approach is the quickest path to an overuse injury, and you need to pace yourself more efficiently. If you’re doing a moderate level of activity, aim for 150 minutes spread throughout the week. If your fitness programme is a little more vigourous, you shouldn’t do anymore than 75 minutes weekly. Also, don’t forget to take the time to warm up beforehand, and cool down after physical activity.


4. Build up your activity level slowly: You know the feeling; you finally get round to that jog or fitness class, you see your wellness perk up a bit, and suddenly you want more. However, going to “all” from “nothing” puts a huge strain on your body that it’s just not prepared for – you need to change the intensity or duration of a physical activity gradually. If you want to increase the amount of weight you use during your strength training session, say, you shouldn’t add on anymore than 10% each week until you reach your new goal. This gives your body plenty of time to adjust and adapt.


5. Mix it up: You may love your routine, but focusing on one type of exercise can lead to overuse of certain body parts, while building variety into your exercise programme can help to prevent injuries. Don’t just go walking; incorporate a mixture of low-impact activities like biking, swimming and water jogging. In moderation, this allows your body to use different muscle groups and prevent overuse injuries – especially if you’re doing some type of strength training at least twice a week.

Comments are closed.