Have you ever had a conversation with yourself about whether or not you really want to go work out today? Sometimes that conversation is your body telling you that you need a break. Injuries and overtraining can occur even with the most structured programs.
The first predictor of injury and overtraining is if you’ve been injured before. If so, you are much more likely to get hurt again because of the body’s unique way of compensating for that particular injury. With compensation, some of the muscles become weak and are simply not ready to handle the specific demands of your workout regime. This is why people who start a running program for the first time often do well for a few weeks but then as they add the mileage on, suddenly develop foot or ankle problems, hamstring soreness, or perhaps even lower back pain. Their bodies are not strong enough to cope with the demands of the increased training load. If you are experiencing soreness and fatigue, take it easy! If you don’t, you will get injured and will have to take more time off than you would have had to had you respected your body prior to that injury. If you’re not sure, ask your doctor or just simply ease back into it, making sure your biomechanics are up to speed before you go all out.
With compensation, some of the muscles become weak and are simply not ready to handle the specific demands of your workout regime.
The second predictor of injury is probably the number of consecutive days of training you carry out each week. Scientific studies strongly suggest that reducing the number of consecutive days of training can lower the risk of injury. Recovery time reduces injury rates by giving muscles and connective tissues an opportunity to restore and repair themselves between workouts. Always build adequate recovery time into your workout program.
Scientific studies strongly suggest that reducing the number of consecutive days of training can lower the risk of injury.
The third best predictor of injury is your hydration. Trying to work out without water before, during, and after your workout is the equivalent of attempting to drive your car on E. As a general rule, you should consume at least half your body weight in ounces a day while exercising; for some, it’s even more.
Let’s not forget about nutrition. You have to feed the body in order for it to perform. You might suffer an injury if you don’t have any readily accessible glycogen available for your muscles to use during your workouts. Feeding your body the necessary pre-carbohydrates and post-workout protein is necessary to repair any muscle fibers that have been damaged during your activity.
All of these predictors can easily be identified. Listen to your body. Feed your body, and most importantly, make sure you are fully hydrated. If you don’t take all of these into consideration, your system will shut down with minor or major collateral damage in the form of injuries. There are many doctors and coaches out there who are qualified to help you with any questions concerning your fitness level and programs, hydration, and proper nutrition. Remember most of all: Injuries are preventable by just listening to your body.
Listen to your body. Feed your body, and most importantly, make sure you are fully hydrated.