How to Prevent Injuries This Summer

I have always found that the best way to get started on something is to do it for consecutive days. Exercise is no different than anything else but in the past I have been terrible for this as I used to never do enough to prevent injuries

What I have always done is set a goal, lets say to run a 10k. Well I go in gung ho and run hard everyday for a week, not getting started and moving up in distance but just moving up too quick and I end up with lots of aches and pains and injuries that just end up stopping me. This is bad.

What happens when we start and exercise program is that we need to strengthen a few things. We need to strengthen our will, our tenacity, our strength, our joints, and our form. Lets looks at each of these.

Prevent Injuries By Working Up

How to Prevent Injuries This SummerStrengthen our Will – The very first day that you go for a walk or run, or even a weight workout you will be excited and carve out a piece of your day to squeeze it in. We are all busy and fill everyday so something falls off that day. What falls off? TV, or Facebook, or just some quiet time, even sleep sometimes. Well after that first day, especially after the first week life invades again.

For me my internet surfing and quiet time have to be sacrificed to get a workout in unless I workout at lunch. The trouble is that after a few days of this for most people, me included means that life is not the same as it once was. I miss idle time, I miss just “catching up”. But these priorities are not as important as a daily workout. In my household workouts are a top priority but in most households they are not. So what do you do? Strengthen your will, get serious about your exercise priority and realize that there are no shortcuts. You can workout at lunch (like I tend to do) but if that is not convenient then maybe getting up an hour earlier to workout will help. Whatever it is this is a painful change in your schedule.

Strengthen our Tenacity – I call it this because I am not much of a runner. If I start running then a few minutes in I will think about walking for a few minutes. After about 20 minutes of running I want to just be on the couch. Again this is tough at the beginning but exercise in the beginning is always tough. After a few workouts, and I really mean a few like 5 or 6 workouts your brain gets less lazy, and your body is able to get these workouts done and you don’t have the lazy brain telling you to stop because your body knows it can handle more.

Our Strength – Leg strength and arm strength, even core strength takes time to increase. The trouble is that we get sore. After a weight or cardio workout you feel invigorated but in the morning it is hard to get out of bed. I feel this most in my legs and lower back but truth is that your body will get the hang of it and strengthen pretty quick unless you take a week or more off of your training. This is another reason to not be dumb like me but to progressively up your output as you get your workouts, or new style workouts going.

How to Prevent Injuries This SummerOur Joints – This is a tough one for me. Whenever I start running I know that my legs and back will get sore later but what really has always stopped me is my joints. I have trouble with my hips and my knees and always have. One of the problems with me is that I have a pretty big frame with a fair amount of muscle on it and I don’t think that 200 pound guys are really built to run.

What I have always found is that there are alternatives to hit joints and the internal ligaments better. I find that bike riding has always strengthened my knee joints since there is a lower amount of force but a huge number of reps when you ride a bike. Try to find these high rep ways to strengthen your joints and you will be in much better shape to make them work better.

Our Form – This is critical. Have you ever seen a good long distance runner in training? These guys are awesome. They have short strides, float between strides, and seem to make the action more effortless. This is good form and this makes all the difference to all of the points above. If you learn proper form then the mechanics of the exercise will make things much easier for you and lead to less injuries and a much more enjoyable time training.

Another opposite example of this is a new weight lifter. Have you ever seen a guy on his first time doing lat pulldowns or bench presses? It is all about jerking the weight up and down, once you learn the biomechanics of the exercise you will see people with really smooth reps up and down and there is a much more even and steady force on the muscles.

Safest Way to Move Up Our Training

Really there are no excuses for bad form. The easiest way if you are running is to join a running club, if weightlifting get a few workouts from a personal trainer, and otherwise with most sports you can have someone record you on an iphone or video camera and then after watching this you can go to youtube and watch how a pro moves and see what you are missing.

All this leads to progressive exercise. I know that just for my wife and I starting to do distance walking for our Kidney March we have to eventually get to 100 kilometers in 3 days. The forst week is just a 3 kilometer walk for three days which is easy, but after 8 weeks there are a couple of 20 kilometer walks. Finding time for a 40 minute walk is ok now and our muscles and joints can take it but finding 4 or 5 hours a day in a few weeks will be tougher on our time, muscles, and joints. Having a chance to progressivley move up from 3 kilometers in 40 minutes, to 5 kilometes in and hour and 10 kilometers in 2 hours over a few weeks will allow everything from our style of walking to our joints, our will, and our muscles to get stronger

Follow these steps to prevent injuries and you should have a much more safe and enjoyable summer

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What I told a Buddy Looking to Lose Some Weight

One of my buddies at work is trying to get ready for baseball season and he is really not in very good shape right now. Last week he told me that he wanted to lose 20 pounds for baseball season and asked for some advice.

Obviously I have a page on that….

That goal is a bit tough for anyone. Doctors say you should only try to lose a pound or two a week but sometimes you get excited and quest for more.

But more importantly than having that grand goal we talked about a few other things. I believe that when you are making changes you want to be all in but you don’t want to hurt yourself or feel like you failed if you get hurt. Biggest Loser is a TV show not a lifestyle choice.

So this is what I told him, as well as that article.

1. Stretch lots – Stretching helps your flexibility and stops you from getting sore
2. Drink enough water to drown you – This will give you a lot of energy and when you sweat a lot you won’t feel sick from dehydration
3. Don’t sacrifice too much – If all you are eating is brocolli and chicken breasts and exercising 3 hours a day then after a few days you will give up. Instead make the right moves. East better, cut back on the junk and alcohol, and exercise a little bit every day

Remember the best road to real success is to make consistent and daily moves towards your goals.

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Where is Your Head At?

I have had a cold or allergies or something the last few days which kind of kicked me for a couple days this weekend but today I was back at the gym and hitting it hard. Eating has been really good and I have kept the motivation that I need to continue successfully on my 30 day fitness challenge.

How about you. Where is your head at?

If you are doing this 30 day fitness challenge along with me, or even if you are not this is a tough week for many people. The first week getting in shape is great. Lots of changes, moving forward with eating and exercise, and finally feeling like you are doing something great for yourself.

You do feel great about yourself now I hope?

Remember you need to keep yourself first. You can’t help others if you are not strong yourself.

Anyway, this is week 2 and your motivation may wane at some time this week. If you are a mere mortal like the rest of us then you know that the excitement that you have when you start something can’t continue forever and since it is hard for you to see tangible results you have to work hard to find something to keep yourself going.

Your goal this week is to make sure that you at least keep your exercise up and improve your eating. There are always things that you can do to improve your eating – And don’t eat after dinner, that will help you sleep better and not crave as much food in the morning.

Celebrate every single success that you have this week and remember everything that has made you stronger over the last week and over this week.

I find that most people are always meek about their accomplishments and if you stop that you will see that you are achieving a lot right now and I want to make sure you are excited about what you have done so far.

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