4 Ways to Live Injury Free - by Shelly MacGregor

Attention Weekend Warriors (defined as someone that works all week, usually sits a desk for more than 8 hours a day and when Friday arrives, they hit "go"!)

We have all heard the tale of how our friend tore their Achilles tendon while playing basketball, soccer, ultimate or simply jumping at Crossfit or the gym but they leave out the part this was their first game in months. Thankfully most often the injury is less dramatic, suffering from a strained ligament or tendonitis. These injuries usually occur in the ankles, hamstrings, low back or rotator cuff, rendering you inactive for a few days or up to a few weeks.

Would you like to know how to prevent this from happening to you?

1.      Professional athletes prepare offseason to be their best during competitive bouts and you might consider this as a way to stay injury free as a weekend warrior. Simply, keeping your muscles moving during the week with low impact walking, easy runs, or a workout at the gym twice a week. This will gradually prepare your body, making it stronger for the more intense weekend activities you want to participate in.
2.      Warm up before all activities. Get blood moving by lifting your knees high, jogging on the spot, twisting and bending your low back, and/or a short run or bike before cross-country skiing or playing your first racquetball game in months.
3.      Stretch after you exercise. Soft stretching will decrease tension in the muscle and help increase your range of motion.
4.      Replace your old running shoes, you deserve it! New shoes give you better support and help you move in a more balanced way. As an old shoe becomes worn out it changing your gait, causing you to put strain on your joints.

If you do find yourself injured, remember RICE:

            R – REST the injury site. Do not play through extreme pain. Rest for 24 – 48 hours and then add modified activities if possible. Seek a professional opinion if the pain has not decreased.
           I – ICE the area for 20 minutes, no ice for 40 minutes, repeat. This helps control the pain   and swelling from an acute injury.
           C – COMPRESSION will help control swelling but likely some swelling helps the healing process and is inevitable.
            E – ELEVATE above the heart if possible. This helps increase venous return, reducing swelling and pain.

Shelly MacGregor is the Owner of Apex Massage Therapy Ltd. and the Founder of Spagoes and Spa 9011 in Fernie BC