"Injuries Suck" (Blog #56)

If you're anything like myself and love lifting weights, hiking, biking, rolling jiujitsu, running or wrestling with your kids, then you probably know what its like to have injuries. When something starts to bug you, it's usually a sign of a chronic or acute injury. A chronic injury is when you bench press 4 x a week (like I used to a decade ago), and all of a sudden your shoulder feel like someones stabbing them every time you lift your arms up. An acute injury is when you are running, roll your ankle, hear a pop and bam, you've just received an acute injury.

The nagging chronic injuries suck and can be avoided most of the time IF we listen to our bodies. When your knee throbs every time you finish your 8 mile run, that's a sign that your body doesn't like that. If you ignore that pain time and time again, that nagging injury will lead to surgery quickly. If you cut back the milage and volume of your runs and maybe increase the intensity (hills), your body will appreciate that more. If you keep bench pressing with sore shoulders, expect to be out in the long haul to repair your torn rotator cuff.

Listening to our bodies is key, it's always throwing signs at us, we just have to learn how to listen. Pain is a signal received by the brain warning you of impending danger, if we ignore the pain we are putting ourselves at greater risk to an even worse injury. Having said that, sometimes pushing yourself through discomfort (muscular) is necessary for our bodies to change, but pain (join) is a sign to stop.

So you're probably wondering what you should do to not get hurt, or decrease the risk of getting hurt...Well, luckily I have those answer:

Weight Training: Weight training bullet proofs your body. It increase muscle, bone and joint strength to absorb, endure and withstand anything that you throw at it. Weight training must be done at least 2 days a week (preferably 3-5 days a week). Strong people get hurt less, and by strong I don't mean only the people who can move mass amounts of weight (although that helps). I mean the people who are stable, have good relative strength, are mobile and flexible. Basically, good over all strength, balance, coordination and body awareness...

Progressing Properly: Improper progressions (doing too much too soon) can and will lead to injury. It's vital that you don't sit around for 11 months and then decide you wanna run a marathon or become a powerlifter and run 10+ miles or Dead lift double body weight reps your first workout. You will give your body too much stimulus and be right back on that couch...

Sleep: Every "expert" will tell you their ideal length of time to sleep, but the truth is, everyone is different. 8 hours of sleep to a mommy with babies waking up 3+ times a night and staring at her phone at 4 am is NOT the same 8 hours as the person that has no distractions and sleep solid through the night. I personally feel best off of 6 solid hours (which is never because I have babies) :)

Listening to your body: Don't be stubborn, sometimes it's ok to hang it up for a bit and switch things up. I am currently battling a minor knee injury I received trying to be Lebron James on the basketball court last week with my kids so this entire week I skipped my normal leg work (dead lifts and squats) and have done rehab/pre-hab work for my surrounding leg muscles and stuck with upper body and core exercises until this heals. Yes, it's frustrating but it's the smart thing to do...

Nutrition: This isn't a nutrition blog, but the bottom line is, we all need to ensure that we get a mix of whole foods with little to no processing. Eating a mixture day to day of chicken, fish, meat, fruits, vegetables and healthy grains will allow the body to recover, replenish and rebuild itself. If you put crap in your body you will get crap out, if you put good foods in your body, your body will respond much more favorably...

Consistency: I saved this for last but I think it's the most important. Consistency is Key!! Unfortunately, I've seen quite a few people over the years get into tip top shape, fall off a bit, fall off completely and then wind up in the worst shape of their lives quickly. It's amazing how long and hard you have to work to get into great shape, and how a month or two (or 6) off will leave you flabby, depressed and feeling like absolute crap. Get on a program and stick to it!!

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