With increased activity comes increased risk of injury. A lot of things contribute to injuries. Not using proper form, using too heavy of a weight, starting out too fast or working out too often. Here are my top 4 things you can do to prevent injury.
When was the last time that you took a planned rest day? Not an “Oh My Gosh I am too sore to do the WOD today” day, but a scheduled rest day. Rest needs to be scheduled. What about active rest? Active rest is great but you still need 1 day a week of true rest. Rest includes sleep. Try for 7.5 to 8.5 hours of sleep a night.
Not just after the WOD but every day. Ideally, you should get 15 minutes of stretching daily. Make sure you are hitting all the muscle groups. Once or twice a week get a more in-depth stretching program in. There are a lot of ways to do this including yoga, sports oriented stretch classes, and mobility WOD’s, to name a few.
Proper nutrition before and after workouts is crucial to recovery. If you’re not getting enough protein to repair the damage done while working out your body will start to wear out. Signs that you aren’t getting enough protein include soreness that lasts for more than 3 days, early muscle fatigue, mental fogginess and joint pain. A good rule of thumb is to get .5g of protein per pound of body weight. Get enough carbs to fuel and replenish your workout. Most athletes need 100-150g on workout days. On rest days you can back off to 50-100g to help maintain or lose weight.
Make smart decisions
If the weight feels too heavy on my first repetition then it will impair my form before the 20th repetition. If you are so sore that you can’t get full range of motion, you should scale the workout. If you are injured but still want to workout, go light and avoid the injured area of your body. Go to an open gym and work on form and skills. Eat before you workout, unless you are prone to digestive issues when working out.
Most of these things are common sense, but are easy to overlook. Its easy to lose track of the small things when looking at the bigger picture, or to get lost in the minutia and lose sight of the end result.