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Ward Off Injuries During High-Intensity Workouts

Some runners and cyclists might seek to get more out of their exercise than that which is possible from a short run or ride.  Many athletes want to push themselves as far as they can, maximizing their output and getting in the best shape possible.  But while this is certainly acceptable, the only way to truly improve health is to minimize exposure to potential injury, and to that end, some of the prevention methods related in a new report are worth looking into.

Although we stress this a lot, it should go without saying that athletes give themselves ample time to rest, particularly on the heels of a strenuous workout.  Seven days a week of working out is not appropriate for most people.  When you fail to give your body a break, your entire system can fail to acclimate to the rigors of your exercise.  Pain isn’t given a chance to go away naturally and your muscles and joints are opened up to injury.  You may want to go as hard as possible as often as possible, but your body needs time to adjust.

When you do rest, that doesn’t mean you have to be completely inactive.  Foam rollers are a healthy way to stretch your muscles without taxing your body unnecessarily.  Rest doesn’t have to mean being laid up on a couch; feel free to take part in regular activities.  Also realize the importance of sleep.  If you’re the kind of athlete that gets up at 5 am to work out before work, that may mean that you need to get in bed the night before by 9 pm.  That way, your body can transition into a tougher workout more easily.

The temptation will be to ratchet up the intensity as fast as possible, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to increase physical demands on your body.  The author of the report at the above link recommends something called the 10% rule.  Basically, if you work out for five hours in a week, the next week you might train for five and a half hours.  In that way, you increase your workout without making things too rough on your system.

You have to get your body ready for every single workout, which means that you can’t skip out on stretching and warming up just because you’re short on time.  A light jog for five minutes can get your blood and oxygen flowing, readying you for the more intense exercise to come.  And when you’re done working out, although the mere thought of exercising even a little bit more could be exhausting, it’s important to transition back to inactivity and eliminate soreness and lactic acid buildup.  To do that, think about going for a swim or riding a bike at a light pace for a few minutes when you’re done with the intense portion of the workout.


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