There’s nothing worse than putting life on hold. Whether you’re sidelined due to personal responsibilities, scheduling conflicts or physical injury, being separated from the activities we love is never a good time. As the weekly 9 to 5 grind eats away at our free time, we tend to dive right into our favorite past times the first chance we get, paying little to no attention to the strength and conditioning prep that ultimately allows us to stay in the game throughout the years. We all do it, but as any aging weekend warrior who has experienced a significant injury will tell you, prevention is often times something you don’t worry about until it’s too late.
However, injury prevention is actually one of the best ways to get in touch with your body and amplify your active lifestyle. There are many forms to choose from, but the most important thing is putting the knowledge to work. So, before you pack up for your next active escape, consider these 6 survival tips to prevent an injury.
1. Core awareness is critical.
As our friend Tim Defrancesco, Head Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, recently wrote, “training and learning how to control the pelvis and all connecting muscles is absolutely mandatory. Controlling the pelvis during workouts and during sport performance is necessary to safely perform at the highest level.”
2. Know your limits.
Drastic spikes in the physical demands you put on your body will inevitability lead to injury. Pacing yourself and listening to your body is key.
3. Frequent travel can cause injuries.
If you’re always on the road or in the air, dehydration and stiff muscles can become factors when injuries occur. To combat the effects of chronic travel get comfortable with a foam roller, monitor your water intake and make sure you spend 10-15 minutes stretching prior to your next active outing to counteract the decline in muscle elasticity as a result of your travel habits.
4. The weight room is your friend.
If you’re serious about pushing your limits and plan to withstand the test of time, embracing the weight room is a must. Building muscle strong enough to endure the demands you place on your body is necessary to keep you in the game over the long term.
5. Take rest & recovery seriously.
Allowing your body the proper time to restore itself for your next outing is crucial, especially as you age. While it’s easy to bounce back from rigorous activity in your teens and early twenties, aging eventually catches up with the best of us.
6. Sweat the technique.
One of the best ways to prevent injuries is to remain vigilant with your attention to detail when performing your activity of choice. If you’re trying something new or getting back into the swing of things, make sure you’re exercising properly. Whether in the weight room or on the trail, navigating the rigors of physical activity without injury most often times comes down to doing things the right way.