Are you thinking about starting a new physical activity program or increasing your current workout? If so, you may be at risk for an overuse injury, which may ultimately keep you away from activity for a while.
What are overload injuries? “They are all types of muscular or articular injuries, such as tendinitis or stress fractures, which are caused by repeated trauma,” explain specialists from the Mayo Clinic in the United States in which they point out that these injuries are generally due to errors in training or technique.
Training occurs when you try to do too much physical activity in too little time (“Going too fast, exercising too long, or just doing too much one type of activity can strain muscles and cause injury,” they say).
And those linked to the technique imply that doing exercises without taking care of form and posture (whether lifting weight, throwing a ball or controlling a racket) can subject the muscles to an excess of tension and generate an injury.
Overload injuries can happen to anyone, but you may be more prone to them if you have a condition or illness that makes them better.
And they also occur more frequently as you get older, “especially if you don’t recognize the effect age has on your body and don’t change your routine accordingly,” warn specialists, who recommend consulting your doctor before starting a new activity or increasing the demands of your current routine.
The intensity increase should be progressive.
Most of these injuries can be avoided by following these tips:
Use the proper equipment. Whether you’re starting a new activity or you’ve been practicing a sport for a long time, consider taking classes. Applying the correct technique is essential to prevent overload injuries.
Also, make sure you wear the right footwear for the activity. Consider replacing your shoes every 400 to 800 kilometers you walk or run, or at least twice a year if you exercise regularly.
He’ll moderate the pace. If you’re starting a training routine, avoid exercising alone on weekends. Concentrating the entire week’s physical activity on two days can lead to overuse injuries.
Better try to do moderate physical activity for at least half an hour a day. If you don’t have time to complete the 30 minutes, you can divide them into three blocks of 10. It is advisable to take time to warm up before the activity and to cool down the body after the exercise.
Progressively increase the level of activity. When you change the intensity or duration of a physical activity, do it progressively. For example, if you want to use heavier weights in muscle strengthening exercises, increase the maximum by 10 percent each week until you reach your new goal.
Mix your routine with cross-training. Instead of concentrating on just one type of exercise, add variety to your training routine. Doing a variety of low-impact activities, such as walking, biking, swimming, or jogging in the water, can help prevent overuse injuries because the body uses different muscle groups and no one in particular works excessively.
Also, be sure to incorporate exercises to strengthen the major muscle groups in your arms, legs, and trunk at least twice a week.
Before restarting the activity, it is a good idea to have a doctor verify that you are fit.
“If you suspect you have an overuse injury, consult a physician, who will probably ask you to suspend the activity that caused the injury for a while. However, it’s possible that during this time you can do another type of training, as long as you don’t stress the affected part of the body,” they explain from the Mayo Clinic.
In the consultation, they say, you should not forget to comment if you recently changed the type of exercises or the technique, intensity, duration or frequency of training.
After recovery, they advise that the physician verify that full strength, mobility, flexibility, and balance have been restored before resuming physical activity.