4 tips to protect your body from injury

As a physiotherapist I assist people in their physical wellbeing, which unfortunately involves rehabilitating after injury has already struck, usually after months of putting up with it too. So incorporating these tips into your daily routine can influence your physical and mental health positively preventing injury.

 

1. Do you warm up before you exercise?
Our bodies take time to function correctly from rest to working, so giving it a kick-start is essential. An example for running may involve 1-2km walk or jog with hip openers, leg swings, walking lunges, hopping and/or bounding. This will give your muscles, joints and energy systems time to prepare!


2. Load Management:
This is about ensuring the load you put on your body is within your capacity to recover. Source of overload can be broken down into biomechanics, frequency, duration, intensity, and rapid increase of these variables. It is recommended a 5-10% increase in volume per week to manage load and benefits. Find a professional coach or an exercise physiologist to identify a regime personalised to you.


3. Daily Care…
Many of us work in an office environment with an abundance of screen-time which limits our ability to move around. This can lead to learned-dysfunctional posture and pain at the end of a long day, which can become a chronic injury or carry on into our exercise. I recommend setting an alarm every half hour to get up from your desk and go for a walk or spend a couple of minutes stretching. It can really make a difference. Even for people who have labour intensive jobs, warm ups, stretching and cool downs pre or post job is important!


4. Do you look after your mind like you look after your body?
Being stressed, anxious or frazzled quickens our autonomic nervous system
response at rest. Essentially, it creates a fatigued state in our bodies without the physicality of exercise. Fatigue leads to overload thus injury. I suggest finding a couple of minutes during the day to take the time to focus on your breathing which will slow the nervous system, reduce pain and spasm. Contact a mental health specialist if you need advice.