A common misconception about people with high fitness levels is that they are almost immune to injury. However, this is simply not the case, and people at the top end of the fitness spectrum can actually be far more vulnerable to injury than those with average fitness levels due to the sheer amount of sporting activity they get up to on a weekly basis. Common injuries suffered by athletic people include knee injuries, muscle strains and sprains, shin splints, shoulder injuries, and sprained ankles.
Of course, people with very low fitness levels are also at risk, as they are less equipped to deal with the wear and tear of everyday life, such as picking up heavy items or rushing for the bus. To counter this and prevent injury, it is imperative that people assess their risk levels and plan accordingly. Unfit people should think about increasing their strength and cardiovascular capabilities, while highly active people should think about either reducing the amount of sporting activity they are doing or ensuring that they give themselves a decent amount of recovery time.
There are also a few things you can do before or during a workout to make sure you are not putting yourself at risk of getting hurt:
- Warm-up, cool-down and stretch
These may seem like obvious steps, but you’d be surprised how many seemingly experienced exercisers ignore them. Just a simple warm up jog and a few easy stretches can make all the difference to your workout experience.
- Vary your activities
Doing just one repetitive exercise such as running or weightlifting can put a good deal of strain on certain muscles and ligaments, increasing their propensity for damage. To counter this, vary your workouts by doing a mixture of cardiovascular and weight-related exercises. Your body will thank you in the long run.
- Don’t ignore pain
Pain is your body’s way of telling you to slow down or stop what you’re doing. If you’re feeling pain, ease your workout or stop completely - ignoring it could lead to something more serious and put you out of action for a while.
If you’d like to learn more about fitness levels and protecting yourself against injury, watch our latest video.