Fit and injury free

Is an exercise or sports injury interfering with your job?

My husband, who has always been a fitness buff, ran into a snag this spring when he got a sports injury that stopped him dead in his tracks. See, he will be 61-years-old this year and takes pride, among other things, in his level of fitness and basketball feats. He plays regularly and faithfully, is an assistant coach to a men’s college-age basketball team, he’s coached ladies high school basketball teams and watches games religiously. We joke about is his basketball nickname, the Eagle. This should give you some idea of his level of fitness and enthusiasm for health and wellness.

But, he fell prey to an age-old fitness no-no. He shaved time off his warm-up exercises and didn’t pay attention to the condition of his shoes. Read the Michigan State University Extension article; Learn more about the condition of your shoes. He ended up with a nasty back injury. It chewed up a big chunk of sick time and instilled a healthy determination to go back to basics with fitness preparation; warming up before exercising or playing a sport and checking the condition of his shoes.

It made me think of how an ill prepared work-out, exercise routine or sport can impact your life if you get a sports injury. Like my husband, you can be flat on your back for a few days and unable to work for several more. Worse, you can have a job that has no sick leave benefits and then have to go without pay. So, to prevent an unfortunate use of time off, save it for a well-needed mental health day.

We all know that it is important to be fit and in good physical condition, but your fitness goals should include a smart approach to becoming and staying fit. By this I mean the prevention of exercise or sports injuries.

Here are a few tips to preventing injuries, while getting and staying fit:

  1. Educate yourself on the importance of warming up before exercising.
  2. Always warm-up and cool down before and after exercise.
  3. Increase your physical activity slowly, visit the MyPlate website for ideas.
  4. Make use of the SuperTracker, a tool to plan, analyze and track your nutrition and physical activity.
  5. Invest in a good pair of shoes; while you don’t have to go to a specialty store, many of them have a gait analysis and shoe fit. Once you get an idea of what type of shoe works for you, you can buy your shoes from many different sources.
  6. Don’t use warm-up and cool-down time as an excuse to not get fit, start with these being your “exercise” and grow from there.
  7. Whether you are in beginner, intermediate or advanced fitness condition, don’t neglect the basics!

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