Lets get this straight right off the bat: Not training is always going to be more risky than training. While it’s true around 70 percent of CrossFit athletes had an injury during the last year, the question is not whether this is bad, but whether it’s worse than being sedentary.
When you weigh up a twisted ankle against the increased risk of heart disease, diabetes or obesity, there’s no real contest.
Right, so now that we’ve got that out of the way, lets look at the issue of injuries.
Shit happens. And you can’t always prepare for them – I mean, that’s why they’re called accidents. CrossFit, lifting, Muay Thai, martial arts and all the rest are great ways to train, but do it long enough and it’s just a matter of time before you break something.
How to manage your risk of injury
Be smart about working out and you can get the most benefit from your training while minimizing your risk of injury.
- Don’t train through pain.
- Make sure your form is flawless before adding more weight – when the stakes are a bit higher.
- Don’t ignore weird pulls, tweaks or twitches. These could be the start of an injury. Slow down and watch it closely.
- Warm up and cool down properly, and devote a bit of time each week to maintaining your flexibility.
- Make slower, but more solid gains instead of pushing your body to do miracles.
- Make sure the rest of your lifestyle is supporting your fitness goals: Eat well, take enough time to rest and sleep properly. Often injuries happen just because your body is exhausted.
- If something goes wrong, visit a sports physiotherapist and give them the run down of your training routine. They can help you with exercises and recommend other lifestyle changes to help you work around injuries.
Risk is just a part of life, and risk of injury is definitely a part of any activity that requires you to amp up the physical efforts.
Just as you’re feeling out your upper limits, though, make sure you’re paying attention to your lower bounds, too. Respect your body’s limitations and it’ll be fit and strong for many years to come.
Do you have a routine in place specifically to reduce the risk of injury?