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5 top tips for injury prevention: Reaching your fitness goals.

Dr Jessica Mangala

We start exercising with the intention of toning up, losing weight, improving performance, improving endurance and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, if we go too hard too fast without a proper build up, overtraining or improper training we can sustain an injury. This can stop us from making progress and can deter us from pushing ourselves.

Whether your goal is to run a marathon or to maintain your fitness, below are a list of 5 tips to keep you on track to reach your goals!

  • Warm up and Cool down!

Warming up before exercise should take 3-5minutes to allow your muscles to activate and to improve body awareness. Warm up stretches are dynamic movements and they prepare your body for exercise and exertion. Warming up in motion enhances muscular performance and power.

Examples include lunges with a twist, hip swings or open/closing the gate with your hip and shoulder circles are great dynamic stretches to get your whole body warmed up and ready to exercise.

Cool down stretches are best done post-exercise and usually involve static stretching of major muscle groups that were activated. This helps to maintain flexibility and muscle elasticity.

  • Listen to your body!

Pain is the way the body can communicate injury, infection and dysfunction to the conscious part of the brain. Unfortunately turning down the pain doesn't address the underlying cause of the pain it purely addresses the symptoms. It is important to listen to your body. With most exercises, both cardio and weights, the technique can be modified to avoid repeat injury. Instability and weakness may be the cause of your symptoms, therefore, exercise and strengthening are an essential component in preventing injury.

If you have any previous or current injuries, ask a trainer or a health practitioner about how you can modify and continue to exercise safely.

  • Stay Hydrated

This one is a very basic one but also an important one, hydration is the key to keeping the muscles, discs and joints happy. Your body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other bodily functions. Your body loses water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, therefore it's important to rehydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water.

Below is a quick way to calculate your ideal water intake 37mL/kg on average or 42mL/kg on warmer days and with activity.

  • What are you doing outside of training?

Do you sit all day in an office job: 9 hours 5 days a week? Are you stretching to counteract your immobility? There are lots of different stretches you can do at home and at the office to help keep your body moving.

A good balanced diet is an important part of keeping your body feeling good – particularly the intake of protein. Protein is a nutrient needed by the human body for growth and maintenance. Aside from water, proteins are the most abundant kind of molecules in the body. Protein can be found in all cells of the body and is the major structural component of all cells in the body, especially muscle.

Magnesium, which can be taken as a supplement, is important for metabolising food, synthesising protein and transmitting nerve impulses. It is important for bone health, muscle healing and repair! Fish oil is also important for the joint health and for nervous system development and repair.

  • Get your body checked!

Find what works for you, whether it be regular deep tissue massage, chiropractic, physiotherapy or acupuncture.

Keeping your joints mobile, muscles flexible and spine healthy is important for ensuring that you stay fit to keep training and reach your goals!

To book an appointment with our chiropractic team, make an online reservation here.


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