MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --
Avoiding overuse injury
Most overuse injuries are avoidable. To prevent an overuse injury practice the following:
- Use proper form and gear. Whether you're starting a new activity or you've been playing a sport for a long time, consider taking lessons. Using the correct technique is crucial to preventing overuse injuries. Also, make sure you wear proper shoes for the activity. Consider replacing your shoes for every 250 to 500 miles you walk or run—or at least twice a year if you regularly exercise.
- Pace yourself. If you're starting a new fitness program, avoid becoming a weekend warrior. Compressing your physical activity for the week into two days can lead to an overuse injury.
Instead, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day. If you don't have time for a full 30 minutes, you can break it down into three 10-minute blocks. It's also a good idea to take time to warm up before physical activity and cool down afterward.
- Gradually increase your activity level. When changing the intensity or duration of physical activity, do so gradually. For example, if you want to increase the amount of weight you're using while strength training, increase it by no more than 10 percent each week until you reach your new goal.
- Mix up your routine with cross-training. Instead of focusing on one type of exercise, build variety into your fitness program. Doing a variety of low-impact activities—such as walking, biking, swimming, and water jogging—can help prevent overuse injuries by allowing your body to use different muscle groups and not overload any one particular group. Be sure to include strength training for the major muscle groups in your arms, legs, and core at least twice a week.
Several Late Summer Quick and Healthy Meals: