HOW TO : Prevent Sucky Injuries
Injuries suck. It’s a word that I never want to have to associate with again. After going through - not one , but two - Achilles ruptures, I can wholeheartedly say that injuries are legit the worst. They’re not only a physical challenge but a mental (and emotional) struggle. After the 2nd surgery, I spiralled down pretty hard. I was lying in bed having a pity-party-for-one - wondering how this could happen again and the “Why Me?” sound board was playing on loop. But to my advantage (slash disadvantage), I had been through the recovery once before, so I knew that - in time - I would bounce back on my feet…I just had to focus my energy on healing and be patient with the process.
Some injuries are just freak accidents that can happen but a lot of fitness injuries are preventable. Perhaps I do have weaker than average tendons, but I also believe that I could have potentially saved myself from these injuries had I been more in tune with my body and gave it the TLC that it needed.
Here are a few steps that I take (and you can too!) to better prepare yourself and help prevent injuries along your fitness journey ::
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
This is a huge, huge, huge! Your body will tell you when it needs to rest and recover. Listen to it! If you listen to your body when it whispers, then you won’t have to hear it scream. I was training 5-6 times a week and it was usually pretty high-intensity like boot camp or boxing - because if I didn’t leave a workout drenched in sweat and dying, I didn’t feel like I accomplished what I wanted. So I pushed and pushed myself even when my body was aching and begging for rest. The night before I tore my achilles (for the second time), I actually felt my legs crying for mercy as I lay in bed - but I still decided to workout the next morning and play volleyball after work - then SNAP, CRACKLE, POP! Another Achilles bites the dust. In my mind, I felt like if I slowed down or took days off - I would slide back in progress or that I just wasn’t tough enough to push through the resistance. Just become aware of what your mind is saying vs what your body is saying and do your best to tune in to your body over the mind. Give your body a rest when you need to and while you’re at it, tell your mind to give it a rest too 🤫
STRETCH, ROLL OUT, RECOVER
Never jump straight into a work-out! Get some dynamic stretches in with some body movement prep to warm up them muscles and activate the right tings! Stretching will improve your performance, improve circulation which can help shorten your recovery time, and it’s also a great way to relieve stress. Take some deeeeep breaths and get into it. If you've had any injuries, you know that foam rolling is probably the best thing you can do for the body - before and after a workout. This is something I do religiously now. I am so aware of the aches and pains I get in my body and I know what I need to do to release it. Whether you’ve had any injuries or not, foam rolling is a great practice to get into! Why wouldn’t you want to give yourself a nice (but not-so-relaxing) massage? Just throw on your favourite podcast and spend 10, 20, 30 minutes rolling out those achy muscles. It’s gonna suck and there will likely be a bunch of curse words coming out of your mouth, but I promise, you won’t regret it when it’s over.
FOCUS ON FORM
Don’t just go through the motions! It’s so important to learn proper form when training to avoid repeating a movement that could eventually cause pain or injury. Whether it’s strength training or boxing, connecting with your body is so vital to training safely and efficiently. Improper form or technique in whatever you are doing can cause the body to become misaligned and place your tendons, muscles and joints in positions that can potentially cause strains or tears. If your form is sloppy, you’re also not working the intended muscle group as other things are compensating to get through the movement. Sometimes it’s a very humbling experience (been there)…but you are where you are! It’s okay to start off low and slow, and gradually work your way up the ladder.
HYDRATE & FUEL YOUR BODY
How is drinking and eating enough going to prevent injuries? Easy. When you’re dehydrated or haven’t given your body enough fuel, your focus and performance suffers.
Lack of focus + energy = higher risk of doing things improperly = higher risk of injuring yourself. Self wrote a great article on how important hydration is for training, you can read it here. So, drink up and get movin’, friends!
Also leaving the outfit deets up-top ⤴️ for those of you who love it and want to add it to your gear!
Until next time…
KEEP FIT & HAVE FUN! …(who knows where that’s from!? Am I aging myself big-time right now? 🤣)