5 Ways to Prevent Overuse Injuries Working Out for Summer - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Published on May 04, 2016

5 Ways to Prevent Overuse Injuries Working Out for Summer

5 Ways to Prevent Overuse Injuries Working Out for Summer

You may think more training is always better,
but this mindset could backfire and leave you
sidelined nursing an overuse injury.

Spring is here, which means summer isn’t far behind. If you’re training for upcoming races, trying to get into shape for summer or simply taking advantage of the warm weather by running, you may think more is better – the more you train, the faster you’ll get to your end result.

However, this mindset won’t necessarily get you where you’re trying to go any quicker. In fact, it could actually backfire and leave you sidelined nursing an overuse injury.

Here’s what you can do to make sure you aren’t overdoing it.

1. Practice Proper Form

One of the major causes of overuse injuries is improper technique. If you use poor form while doing a set of strength training exercises, throwing a baseball, or swinging a golf club, you could potentially overload certain muscles, causing an injury.

Whether you’re trying a new activity or workout or been doing it for a long time, lessons could be beneficial. Lessons with a trained professional can teach you proper form or fix poor techniques you may never have realized you were doing.

2. Wear Proper Shoes

Regardless of whether you’re running, walking, lifting, doing aerobics classes, or another activity, wearing shoes designed for that activity and which fit you properly will further prevent you from overuse injuries.

Shoes wear out and, when this happens, fail to support you. Consider replacing your shoes every 250 to 500 miles you walk or run, or about twice per year if you exercise regularly.

3. Gradually Increase Your Activity Level

If you’re just starting out, going full throttle from the get go will put you at risk of injury. If you’re changing the intensity or duration of a workout or activity, do it gradually to give your body the ability to adjust.

In this case, follow the 10 percent rule to determine how to move to the next level. That means only increasing your pace, mileage, or amount of weight added by 10 percent per week. This gives your body enough time to recover and respond to the change.

4. Pace Yourself

If you miss a workout or two, don’t try to make up for it by cramming in two-a-days. You also don’t want become a weekend warrior, compressing your physical activity for the week into your two days off.

Spread your activity out over the week, aiming to get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day. If you don’t have a full 30 minutes, break it down to three 10-minute intervals. Don’t forget to warm up, cool down and stretch.

5. Mix up Your Routine

If you’re a runner, running everyday isn’t necessarily ideal. Your body will benefit more from alternating between running one day and cross-training the next. Rather than focusing on one type of exercise, build some variety into your fitness regimen. Incorporating some low-impact activities like biking, walking, or swimming can help you prevent overuse injuries by making your body use different muscles and avoid overloading one particular group.

Your routine should also include strength training for your major muscle groups in your arms, legs and core at least twice a week

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