As the weather warms up and the buds start coming up, we Canadians rejoice at the opportunity to finally shed our heavy outerwear and get back to outdoor activities. Parks and neighbourhoods become populated with power walkers, joggers, cyclists, in-line skaters and other active folks. For most, outdoor training provides an experience that you just can’t get in a gym! If you are embarking on a training program, there are a few things to keep in mind in order to minimize risk of injury.
1. Start slowly. Allow your body adequate time to build the strength it needs to support your joints during activity.
2. Don’t overdo it. Some studies indicate that the amount of training accrued in the previous month is a good indicator for the injury risk of this month. This may be due to muscle fatigue or increased wear and tear
3. Keep the Balance. A physical imbalance puts extra strain on joints, muscles and connective tissue. Physical therapies like Massage Therapy, Bowen Therapy and Chiropractic Medicine help to keep bodies structurally in balance and free from injury.
4. If you experience pain, STOP. This one seems logical, but one that is often ignored. Pain is the body’s way of indicating that something is wrong. Don’t ignore the message!
5. As you increase your intensity and frequency of training, be sure to also allocate enough time for rest.