Physical activity plays an important role in a healthy lifestyle; however an injury can place you on the sidelines and cramp your fitness goals.
The good news is most injuries are preventable.
By following some simple injury prevention guidelines, you can avoid injury and stay in the game.
Reduce Your Risk
- Thoroughly warm up and cool down before and after activity.
- Cross-train with other activities and exercises to reduce the risk of overuse.
- Strap or tape injury prone joints prior to exercising.
- Drink water before, during and after an activity to avoid dehydration.
- Over exercising can increase colds and infections – reduce your
- Seek medical attention for injuries and explore alternative activity strategies to help promote a healthy or safe recovery.
R - Rest
I - Ice
C - Compression
E - Elevation
- Exercising too vigorously can cause injuries, and injuries are more likely to occur if you ignore signs of fatigue, discomfort and pain.
- In fact, ignoring pain may cause more damage to soft muscle tissue and delay healing.
- Instead, treat injured or inflamed areas promptly by following the R.I.C.E. guidelines.
Assume Proper Form
- Avoid bouncing when you stretch to reduce muscle tearing.
- Protect your back – make sure your thighs take the load when you're lifting.
- Consult with your instructor, coach, sporting association, kinesiologist, chiropractor or physiotherapist for instruction on correct technique and movement patterns.
- Practice the correct techniques and skills for your activity.
Ensure Equipment Fits Properly
- Wear protective equipment as required for your activity.
- Make sure your equipment is the right size.
- Wear appropriate footwear and replace your shoes before they wear out (approximately every 700-800km).
- Maintain equipment on a regular basis.
- Properly inflate bicycle tires and ensure the height of the seat allows your legs to almost fully extend while pedaling.
- Consult with your instructor, coach, sporting association or sporting goods store about how to maintain and check equipment.
Overcome the Elements
Being active in cold or hot weather put additional strain on your body. To beat the heat and combat the cold, follow these tips:
- Drink plenty of water before, during and after activity.
- Cold weather also causes fluid loss, so keep up your water intake, even when it's frosty.
- Wear sunscreen, protective clothing, a hat and sunglasses or a warm hat, gloves and layers.
- During hot weather, restrict activity to the coolest times of day and reduce intensity of activities.
- Cold muscles are more susceptible to injuries. Warm up and cool down.
- When exercising at night, ask a friend to join you or stick to familiar paths and well-populated, brightly lit areas.
- Let others know your route or destination.
- Wear colourful, reflective clothing.
- Walk in the direction of oncoming traffic so you can see them and they can see you.
- Carry a flashlight and whistle.
- Attach lights and reflectors to the front and back of your bicycle.
- When participating in water sports be sure to wear life jackets.
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Want to find out what how much physical activity is recommended to achieve health benefits or which types of activity you and your family should participate in? The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines provide specific recommendations for children, youth, adults and older adults on how to get moving and stay active.