How to Break Your Fitness Routine…
and Avoid Injury… At Any Age
Are you trying to break your same old fitness routine?
The same exercises, reps and sets. Throw some poor technique into the mix. Add poor habits like lack of sleep, the stress of your everyday work routine, and low fuel sources, and what are you left with? An injury waiting to happen.
The primary requirement for promoting physical recovery and preventing injury, at any age, is to take personal responsibility for your health. This requires careful attention to your daily habits: work routine, sleep schedule and how you fuel your body for exercise and the recovery in your post workout routine.
10 Strategies Promoting Physical Recovery
- Maintain Proper Hydration
- Drink plenty of water before, during and after practice and competition.
- Fluid loss of > 1% of total body weight can be associated with an elevation in core body temperature during exercise.
- For every pound of fluid lost during practice/game, 24 ounces of fluid is required to restore body hydration.
- Refer to Hydration Guidelines
- Replenish your carbohydrate stores
- Carbohydrates are a primary energy nutrient, and provide fuel for the working body.
- Include 3.5 to 4.5 carbs per pound of body weight (8-10 g/kg of body weight).
- Good sources: raisins, bagel, whole wheat bread, brown rice, pasta(prefer quinoa or brown rice), bananas and dried fruit.
- It is important to choose foods that have high nutrient density for health.
- Maintain lean body mass (muscle tissue) by replenishing protein stores
Avoid foods that are processed, and contain hydrogenated oils.
- Allow adequate cool-down from training
- Low intensity exercise for 10 minutes after training session, or competition.
- Jog, Stationary bike, brisk walk.
- Stretch after each workout, or competition
- Perform easy mat exercises, or stretching routine.
- Perform stretch routine in morning and/or evening for 10 minutes.Interrupt prolonged sessions of sitting while at computer or desk with 3-5 minutes of light stretching.
- Maintain good posture when sitting at desk, computer and home
- Poor sitting posture increases tightness and will cause fatigue of muscles and soft tissue.
- Avoid slumping in a flexed posture when sitting. This increases stress on spinal structures.
- Postural Relief Measures:
- Take short, 2-3 minute stretch breaks after sitting for >45 minutes.
- This allows blood to circulate and changes the loads on joints and soft tissues of the body.
- Take a 10 minute meditation break
- Relax on the floor with your legs elevated on a foot stool, or just flat on the floor.
- Perform slow breathing. In through the nose and out through the lips.
- The abdomen should rise and fall slowly.
- Focus your thoughts on your breath.
- Get adequate sleep
- As an athlete you need your sleep.
- Optimal sleep is considered 8 to 9 hours.
- Too much sleep, or not enough effects your mental capacity, physical recovery, and can be the sign of overtraining.
- Meditate:Mindful Meditation Could Help Improve Sleep Quality
- Use an ice pack, or a cool body soak
- Cold is beneficial for muscle recovery.
- Cold is also an anti-inflammatory, reducing swelling and the accumulation of lactic acid.
- Walking in a cool pool, or sitting in a cool bath for 10 minutes is good for rejuvenating a fatigued, or sore body. A cool shower can also be used.
- Listen to your body
- If aches and pains persist, or you are feeling particularly fatigued, consult a sports medicine professional(medical doctor, athletic trainer or physical therapist).
- Do not let minor injuries become serious, threatening your ability to perform at an optimal level of performance.
There are reasons that you hit a plateau in your running or workout program. This may come from the daily stressors that exist in your life(work, relations, finances,etc.). It may also be caused by the body growing to accustomed to the routine of your training.
It is essential to listen to what your body is telling you.
Are you losing quality sleep?
Are you having trouble focusing on your work?
Are workouts that would normally be accomplished with only moderate fatigue, now exhausting your?
These are indications of overuse, or overtraining. What you do in a day must be considered when planning your training program. It is okay to have a down day and refuel your stores of energy.
Give attention to those hard tasks, or the pile of work that is adding up on your desk. This is something that constantly challenges me.
What is your challenge?
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Randy Bauer: http://bauerhealthaction.com