Being active on a regular basis is great for your body, mind, and soul. Sometimes when you’re physically active, whether you’re playing sports or doing yard work, you may experience a slight muscle pull, strain, or even an injury.
The good news is that there are many things you can do to help prevent injuries. Regardless of your age or ability, balance and strength training can help keep you injury free. Here’s how to do it right!
Having strong muscles and good posture help keep your body in alignment and protect your joints. Some things you can do:
- Develop strength in your core (back, hips, and abdomen)
- Do some resistance training to build and maintain your muscle strength
- Consider working with a qualified exercise professional to assess and correct muscle imbalances (like having stronger muscles in the front of your thigh than in the back).
- Try strengthening the muscles you use for specific sports or activities. For example, a runner should strengthen the muscles of the hips and at back of the thigh, and a gardener should practise safe lifting techniques and strengthen their lower body.
Practising being off balance is a very good way to challenge your stability and to develop proprioception (awareness of your body in space). Ballerinas, for example, have exceptional balance and proprioception. Balance training is not only good for sports, but will help prevent falls in everyday life. A couple of things you can do:
- For those new to balance training, start by standing by a wall and lifting one leg off the ground for 10-20 seconds. As you gain more experience and confidence, try the exercise with your eyes closed, on a foam pad, or a wobble board.
- There are also many activities that enhance balance; Tai Chi is a phenomenal example of this.
Doing a strength and balance routine twice a week can go a long way in keeping you off the sidelines, be it in life or sport. Let us help you – give us a call (8-1-1) and we can work with you to design a FREE balance and strength routine.
HealthLinkBC: Preventing Falls: Exercises for Strength and Balance
SportsMedBC: Sports Conditioning Basics