Getting fit is on everyone’s new year’s resolutions, but did you know sports injuries are much more common than you think? Sports Medicine Australia spokesperson, Dr David Bolzonello says this need not be the case, as up to half of all sporting injuries are preventable.
“At the start of every year, many people dive into their New Year’s resolution of physical activity without good preparation and suffer injuries that restrict their steady progress toward their fitness goal,” said Dr Bolzonello.
“The risk of injuries should not deter people’s enthusiasm and motivation to get fit and healthy. All they need to remember is to undertake some simple measures before, during and after physical activity.
“This preparation should reduce the likelihood of getting injured and increase the chances of a happily fulfilled new year resolution,” said Dr Bolzonello.
Here are six simple measures you should take before, during and after all physical activity:
1. Avoid doing too much too soon
Start at a level and pace you’re comfortable with. Gradually increase your workload over a series of sessions.
2. Always warm up and cool down when undertaking activity
Warming up prepares you both mentally and physically for performance and decreases your risk of being injured. To warm up, simply start your chosen activity at a slower pace. Also remember to cool down after activity sessions to help reduce muscle soreness and stiffness.
3. Take care when exercising in hot conditions, which are common in January
During activity, try to rest in the shade whenever possible and protect yourself by wearing light clothing, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat.
4. Keep hydrated
Always drink fluids (water or a sports drink) before, during and after activity. Drink at least 2 cups (500ml) an hour before exercise, 150ml every 15 minutes during exercise and enough to fully re-hydrate yourself after exercise.
5. Wear protective equipment
These include helmets, padding and/or mouthguards, where required. Good quality footwear are also a must as a number of studies have found a relationship between the type of footwear worn and the incidence of injuries to the lower limb.
6. Know what to do if an injury occurs
especially if you have suffered an injury in the last 12 months. Injury statistics have found previous injury increases the risk of further injury by 57%. Use RICER – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation and Referral.
Is getting fit on your new year’s resolutions?