23 Sep Injury-proof your body ahead of summer
The warmer months are upon us and that means we are more likely to get out there and exercise. The right combination of weight training, sleep, good food and body awareness can help you dodge injury this summer!
Winter has well and truly come to a close, and for many Australians, this spells the beginning of a new season of outdoor sport and physical activity (such as cricket, swimming, triathlons or fun runs). Unfortunately for many, participation in these activities can be hampered by injury, resulting in weeks to months of recovery. However, with the right training and recovery, you can significantly reduce your risk of sitting out the summer. Read the tips below to ‘bullet-proof’ your body ahead of the outdoor season!
1. INCLUDE RESISTANCE TRAINING IN YOUR PROGRAM
There is a wealth of evidence supporting resistance training (RT) for individuals participating in any sport. A structured, regular RT program will help you improve strength, power, endurance and energy efficiency. Participation in a RT program can also significantly reduce the risk of injury. Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) are the highest-qualified exercise professionals in Australia, and can assist in starting you on a resistance training program specific to the needs of your sport.
2. GET PLENTY OF SLEEP
One of the best recovery methods, and commonly one of the most forgotten, is a good nights’ sleep! During sleep, your body not only replenishes its energy stores, but repairs any muscle damage from training or competition. Depriving the body of sleep it means it does not have the chance to recover for the following day’s activities. To ensure that you are giving your body the break it needs, try to achieve at least 7 hours of solid sleep each night.
3. EAT AND DRINK PROPERLY
Our main energy source is through the food and drink we consume. Therefore, if you fuel your body with the right nutrients from the right foods, it will reward you with a higher level of function. Eat well and drink plenty of water. If you had a brand new sports car, you would fuel it with premium fuel to ensure it ran well and stayed healthy on the inside. Your body should be no different.
4. “LISTEN TO YOUR BODY”
A piece of advice that I give to most of my clients is to “listen to your body.” If you start to develop increasing soreness in a particular area, it could be just general soreness or fatigue, but it also may be the beginning of an injury. People who push through this soreness place themselves at a higher risk of developing an injury, which could leads to weeks off training while you recover. If you begin to experience any consistent localised pain, get in touch with your local AEP for advice on how to manage it.
Exercise Right recommends:
- Add resistance training to your program to build your strength, and reduce your risk of injury
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep per night to allow your body to recover properly
- Fuel your body with the right foods, and drink plenty of water throughout each day and during physical activity
- “Listen to your body” – if something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not.
Jamie is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist who currently works in private practice on the Mornington Peninsula in Melbourne.