Use anything a lot and it'll start to break down – your car, your computer… even your body. The tax we pay as active individuals is wear and tear on our bodies. Naturally there are varying degrees of wear and tear, most of which we can cope with and suffer no drop in performance.
We do have to take care of ourselves though, otherwise the physical demands become too significant and the physical breakdown outstrips the rate of repair. There's no good pushing your training to new heights if the end result is injury, so the question we're going to answer today is ‘how can you help to avoid injury?'
Here's a 360 degree snapshot of how we can give ourselves the best possible chance to avoid injuries. Whilst you can never remove the chance of injury completely, you can certainly give yourself a significant advantage by taking the following steps…
Time to read: 5 minutes
- 360 degree overview of avoiding injuries
- Improving body strength, diet & rest
- Importance of recovery
- Scientifically backed recommendations
Use anything a lot and it'll start to break down – your car, your computer… even your body. Here's the KYMIRA guide to avoiding injuries.
Improve Your Strength
It's no secret that all other things being equal, a strong muscle is more robust than a weaker one. The tissue health, its elasticity and the ability to cope with force production is improved through strength training. There's also the additional benefits of regular strength work in the gym – connective tissues become stronger, more elastic, generally healthier and benefit from an enriched blood supply, further reducing their susceptibility to injury.
What coaches have known for years has also been supported with lab data. A 2018 meta analysis of strength training and injury prevention research showed that improved strength training had a significant effect on reducing sports injuries.
Appropriate strength training will improve your performance and reduce your injury risk significantly. Don't be afraid of strength training as an endurance athlete, you won't add bulk unless you overconsume calories and training in a bodybuilding style. Follow this link to improve muscle strength without adding too much mass.
Time spent in the gym is also time away from impact, it's also a change in stimulus for your body and a mental break from the road/track/pool etc. There's an unquantifiable yet valuable benefit from the change of scenery and stimulus alone.
Improve Your Diet
There's a lot of discussion about the importance of diet when it comes to injury prevention and post exercise recovery, but much of the research is largely inconclusive – there's a few points on which the research tends to agree on though, in particular the use of protein and amino acids.
It's largely accepted that post-exercise protein helps to establish the repair process of the soft tissues, helping to prevent injury occurrence in the future. Given a lot of post-exercise protein is consumed via a dairy-based shake, there's further research that suggests this could have a beneficial effect on bone health.
Research carried out by Oxford University concluded that vegans have a higher chance of bone fracture than meat eaters, fish eaters and vegetarians, probably on account of their lower calcium intake. This information is particularly important for runners, who are more likely to suffer stress fractures of the lower limbs, feet and back on account of the higher impacts associated with running.
Ensuring an adequate (5 portions per day) of fruit and vegetables alongside a high protein and adequate carbohydrate diet appears to offer the best injury prevention measure thanks to the varied mineral intake.
The term ‘overtraining' is used to explain a situation where an athlete has trained hard and hasn't allowed significant recovery time. It's also known as under-recovery by some coaches who argue that it's a lack of recovery rather than the training load that's the problem. In all honesty, they're two sides of the same coin.
One of the issues around over training is that it's very difficult to quantify and the symptoms are individualised . Everyone will experience a different version of overtraining, so it's up to the athlete to keep a close eye on how they are feeling and performing, ensuring sufficient rest is a part of their training regimen.
Research has highlighted that overtraining increases the likelihood of musculoskeletal injuries . The same study advises that effective rehabilitation measures are taken to ensure the risk of injury is reduced in athletes.
Support from KYMIRA Infrared Products
Our KYMIRA infrared clothing can be worn during training, and after for recovery, to reduce the likelihood of injury occurrence. Nitric oxide is produced in the KYMIRA wearers body, and the chemical reaction to the infrared emitted waves from the KYMIRA KYnergy fabric, can stimulate injury protective mechanisms. Infrared rays and nitric oxide prime the body to exercise by improving joint motion and muscle elasticity . Nitric oxide is a natural pain reliever , stimulating the same chemical pathways as opiates naturally, meaning reduced likelihood of compensatory injuries from existing or old injuries. KYMIRA products can also reduce fatigue based injuries with its support to muscle soreness and increased cellular oxidation , metabolism and energy production.
Our elite athlete teams that use KYMIRA products for training and recovery, have reported an 80% reduction in injuries over a measured period when compared to previously wearing standard clothing training kit.
Furthermore, if an injury does occur, KYMIRA products can speed up recovery. The infrared within KYMIRA supports the repair of soft tissues such as muscles and other connective tissues by stimulating the cellular processes for their repair. This is increased blood circulation , tissue oxygenation and cellular metabolism with support to reduce the consequent inflammation and pain .
How to Avoid Injury: Concluded
We can never completely avoid injuries – the chances are just too high. What we can do is by training, eating and recovering wisely , reduce our chances significantly. Follow these steps and you too will help to protect yourself against injuries in sport.