Avoid the hospital at all costs. How and why? With inflation driving up costs, every expenditure, including going to the doctor, will lead to some stressful worrying. For some injuries, it will cost you prices reaching over a thousand dollars. We cannot all be like Jimmy from Bubble Boy, who is protected from germs and other worldly dangers by a mobile bubble suit. While that might prevent some injuries, it would not lead to a fulfilled life. By simply following some straightforward tips, you should be able prevent some injuries and expensive trips to the hospital.
Have confidence in your activities; any hesitation will lead to missteps and unfortunate injuries in whatever activity you’re doing.
Preparation - Know what you’re getting into and prepare accordingly. Going out for a run? Make sure you wear the proper footwear. Wearing unsupported shoes while running can do some serious damage to your feet. “Years of wearing shoes without support can weaken the tendons that run along the inside of your ankle that help support the arch.”1
Stretching - Carefully set aside some time to stretch; there are no shortcuts for this! “Your muscles need to warm up and cool down at the start and the end of your workout.” 2
Stretching can provide numerous benefits such as:
Improved flexibility and range of motion
Reduced muscle tension and soreness
And much more!
Limitations - It’s healthy to stay active, but know your limitations--and don’t put yourself in harm’s way just to relive your glory days or to just show somebody up. Listen to your body by paying attention to any pain or discomfort you may feel during physical activities. This can be a sign that you are pushing your body beyond its limits.
Know your body; ankle sprains, pulled hamstrings, finger jams, sore knees, shin splints, and other aggravating injuries can be avoided and/or treated without going to the doctor.
Ankle sprains - An ankle sprain can occur when your ankle is twisted, rolled, or turned in an awkward way. To prevent ankle sprains, remember to wear appropriate footwear, be careful on uneven surfaces, warm up before a physical activity, and exercise regularly to strengthen the muscles in the ankle and lower leg.
Pulled hamstrings - Long periods of sitting or inactivity can cause bad hamstrings. If you work a desk job, it’s important to make time for little breaks to stretch, go on a walk, or switch gears by standing up while you work. “If your hamstring muscles start to feel achy, heed this warning and don’t push them. Your body does a great job of letting you know when you’re pushing things too far, so you just need to hear the call.”3
Finger jams - Jammed fingers can be a common occurrence when playing sports and as well as doing tasks around the house – such as accidentally shutting the dresser door on your fingers. Jammed fingers are challenging to prevent! However, by working on being more aware, strengthening, and practicing proper techniques for sports – setting up a volleyball, catching a football/basketball can help lower your chances of jamming your fingers.
Sore knees - Knees not feeling like they use to? Muscles and ligaments get weaker with age. When we work on strengthening the muscles around the knee, we place less stress on our joints. A combination of strengthening and stretching exercising can help improve your joint moves and functions. Consistency is key!
Here are some exercises that can help make your knees stronger:
Straight leg raises
Shin splints - Talk about no fun! Shin splints normally occur when the muscle and bone tissue in the leg become overworked by repetitive activity. Once shin splints are diagnosed, going into recovery mode is the next step. Icing and stretching will be your enemy and best friend!
Common causes of shin splints:
Increasing your level of intensity, such as going a longer distance than you normally do
Poor running form – such as running hard on your heels
Not wearing proper footwear
Now that you know some common ways on how shin splits occur, it’s time to learn some tips on how to prevent!
Tips to help prevent shin splints:
Stretch! Stretching out your calves and hamstrings can help relieve your muscle tightness. Before diving into your workout, consider pre-run stretching (lunges, high-knees, calf rises)– this can help increase blood flow to your muscles and help you be injury-free.
Gradually increase your exercise intensity. Make time for your body to adapt by slowly increasing your training intensity small bits at a time! As mentioned previously, knowing your limitations is important. Slow and steady wins the race!
Rest! Let your body recover – resting is important for healing and prevention.
Avoid dehydration, remember to drink water! The body’s basic need for water is often overlooked – “..the “cardinal rule” says adults should drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.”4 Water has many roles in helping the body function properly. Water makes 75% of your muscles, helps your body absorb nutrients, and so much more!
Water can help with your:
Optimal function – water helps your body function its best! If your body is not receiving enough liquid, your body will not perform as best as it could.
Mood – Yes, not drinking enough water can affect your mood. Drinking to little to no water can cause you to be fatigue and cranky.
Productivity – Water helps your mind think more clearly! Your body loses water all day and you need to continue to drink water throughout the day.
Optimal function, mood, productivity all can factor with helping you prevent injuries. Help yourself out today by drinking more water consistently.
Lastly, PUT PRIDE ASIDE.
There will be some injuries you’ll have to make that fearful trip to the doctor for; it’s not what you want, but going sooner than later will pay off since most unattended injuries lead to more injuries.
As we wrap this blog up, remember to take proper care of your body! Stretch, listen to your body, drink enough water, and gradually increase your workout intensity.
Have any questions? Ask our team for some more helpful tips!