Momentum can be a valuable asset when people are pursuing their fitness goals. Once a fitness routine picks up steam and begins to produce results, the resulting dynamics can make it easier for people to focus fully on exercising and ultimately achieve, if not exceed, their original goals.
A successful fitness program includes various components, not least of all, adequate rest. As individuals gain momentum and get closer to their fitness goals, it can be tempting to skip days. However, rest is vital in order for the body to recover and thus reduce athletes’ risk for various injuries, including overuse injuries.
What is an Overuse Injury?
All physical activity carries some risk. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts suffer injuries every day that have nothing to do with overuse. Such injuries are often unavoidable, but injuries from overuse can be.
Overuse injuries are caused by repeated trauma, according to the Mayo Clinic. These injuries affect muscles or joints and can be caused by training errors or technical errors.
Exercise errors include exercising too long or doing too much of a particular activity. The resulting stress from overuse leads to injuries.
A common example of a technique failure that can lead to an overload injury is improper form when performing strength training exercises. For this reason, it is important for anyone starting a new fitness program to consult with a coach or personal trainer before starting.
Trainers and personal trainers can demonstrate the correct techniques for using weight training equipment or lifting free weights. Such instruction can greatly reduce an athlete’s risk of overuse injuries.
Can Other Factors Contribute To Overuse Injury?
Athletes should know that overuse injuries are not always due to mistakes in their training or technique. A 2014 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that certain intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors can increase athletes’ risk for overuse injuries.
Intrinsic risk factors for overuse injuries include malpositions, differences in leg length, muscle imbalance, muscle weakness, and body composition. Adults and parents of young athletes should talk to their doctor or pediatrician about fitness programs before they start exercising.
Such a discussion can reveal intrinsic risk factors that athletes are unaware of. Extrinsic risk factors for overuse injuries include surfaces; Equipment, including shoes; Environmental conditions; and nutrition.
Athletes can act as their own watchdogs, preventing overuse injuries caused by extrinsic factors, checking equipment and playing areas to make sure they are functional, safe, and eating a balanced, nutritious diet.
Overload damage can almost always be avoided. While it can be difficult to take a break from an exercise program that is producing results, rest is an essential part of a successful fitness program.