FITNESS: Taking Responsibility For Our Injuries | Great Health Guide
FITNESS: Taking Responsibility For Our Injuries

FITNESS: Taking Responsibility For Our Injuries

‘Taking Responsibility For Our Injuries’ by Kylie Edwards published in Great Health Guide (Dec 2015). Do you find yourself getting injured easily?Did you know that with a little effort of just five minutes of stretching or strengthening a few times a week, many injuries can be avoided? Read on to find out how you can take reduce the amount of future injuries today.
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FITNESS: Taking Responsibility For Our Injuries

written by Kylie Edwards

Injuries are never our fault. They often occur when doing menial tasks such as picking up the cat, playing with the kids or carrying one too many shopping bags. We portray them as acute chance events and ignore the chronic conditions that lead up to them such as 30+ hours per week at a sedentary desk job or perhaps neglecting the physiotherapy stretches you were prescribed for tight muscles but can’t even remember now!

We are very familiar with the areas of our bodies which are prone to injuries or tightness. Maybe your calves have ‘just always been tight’ or your lower back ‘goes out periodically’ or just ‘happens to run in the family’. But other than comment on our injury or pain patterns when they occur, what preventive measures do we actually practice for these known problematic areas? How many times per week do you stretch those tight calves or do core strengthening exercises for your back?

It is only when we are prevented from participating in daily activities or have significant pain that we consider ourselves ‘injured’. A back that has been tight for five years is barely a blip on your radar, until radiating sciatic pain down your leg demands your attention. It’s not that we need to dedicate another hour every day or even every week to address our recurring issues, but consider the pain experienced, time wasted, money spent and possibly income lost as a result of the injury. As difficult as adding another ‘to do’ in our busy lives sounds, it is worth investing five minutes of stretching or strengthening a few times a week. If you’re not feeling motivated to do so, just think of the possible detrimental alternatives – spending a few weeks hobbling around with a pulled calf muscle or worse yet, a week flat out on your back.

The reality is the majority of our ‘acute’ injuries really have been building up for a long period of time and you were just lucky that you didn’t hurt yourself the previous 100 times when you picked up the cat or carried too many groceries. 

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Here are some questions to help you identify injury problems and with a little work, prevent them in the future. 

Questions to Identify Injuries:

1. What is your common injury/pain area, or the tightness/weakness you experience?

2. What are you doing today to help prevent that injury? Are you strengthening your core, working on range of motion, or stretching tight muscles and strengthening weak ones?

3. What in your daily life leads to this imbalance? Do you spend the majority of your day with your head tilted in a forward position putting extra strain on your back and neck? Do you have tight calf muscles from wearing high heels regularly? Are you always carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder?

4. What are some small changes you can make today – should you do an additional stretch per day, do two of your favourite core exercises, adjust your ergonomics at work, or make an extra trip for that last grocery bag?

Instead of becoming injured again, implement a preventative, proactive program which will save time, money and mostly likely some pain in the long run.

Author of this article:
Kylie Edwards has more than 15 years’ experience as a fitness professional. Completing a double masters (physiology and nutritional sciences) degree in San Diego, her breadth of experience includes working with patients at San Diego Sports Medicine and Cardiac Rehab, teaching students and faculty wellness group classes at University of California San Diego as well as a coaching running and teaching the fitness specialist program at the San Diego City College fitness facility.  To contact Kylie please refer to her website.

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