Keen to embark on a health kick in the New Year? Thinking of upping your current training programme once the festive season has subsided?
That’s great – but you need to remember that workout injuries are particularly common amongst those who are new to exercise or are returning to the gym or their favourite sport after a period of inactivity.
Here, we’ve put together a list of some of the most common training injuries and provided you with some handy tips on how to prevent them from ruining your fitness plans in 2020 and beyond.
Unless you train regularly, the muscles in your back will be relatively weak from underuse. That’s why it’s so important to introduce weights and core exercises into your routine slowly. If you go too hard too quickly, you’ll be likely to cause damage to the muscles and ligaments, and this could cost you weeks or months in progress!
We would also recommend taking advice on technique and form from a personal trainer or other healthcare professional; he or she will be able to show you how to train safely and effectively, without placing too much unnecessary strain on your musculoskeletal system.
If you’re a runner, or you regularly play sports that involve a lot of jumping and/or changing direction, you need to take extra care of your knees. Most knee injuries develop because of inadequate stretching, poor posture or unsupportive footwear – so pay attention to your warm-ups, work on your core strength to avoid slouching and uneven weight distribution and invest in sturdy shoes to keep these important joints stable.
For extra protection, invest in a pair of our orthotic insoles. These products will work to relieve pressure points, correct overpronation and deliver additional stability to your lower limbs.
You can develop an ankle sprain anywhere, at any time. All it takes is for you to be a little off-balance or catch a dip in the ground at the wrong angle. But your chances of damaging your ankles increase significantly as soon as you start to exercise more. To avoid painful sprains that could take as long as 8 weeks to heal, focus on strengthening your core, improving your flexibility and gradually building up your ankle strength through a series of simple leg exercises, like squats and lunges.
Shin splints are typically caused by overloading the leg muscles, so make sure you don’t place them under too much stress, especially in the first few weeks of training. Avoid stinging, aching sensations by introducing any new exercises into your routine gradually and be sure to run on softer surfaces if possible, as this will minimise shock to the shinbone and the muscles and tendons that surround it. The PORON® urethane layer found in each of our OrthoSole insoles will also help to absorb stress from striking the ground.
This is another ailment that will begin to creep up on you if you begin to train too hard! Plantar fasciitis develops when the plantar fascia – the thin ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot – becomes thick and inflamed due to excess pressure or general wear and tear. It’s especially common in people with flat feet or very high foot arches, as well as those who have upped their training regime recently and haven’t given their bodies time to adjust to their new routine.
Plantar fasciitis can be treated in a variety of ways – but in our experience, prevention is always better than cure. You can deliver better support to your feet and minimise the risk of developing this common orthopaedic complaint by wearing OrthoSole insoles in your sports shoes every time you train (and in your everyday footwear, too).
If you do find yourself suffering from persistent heel pain and stiffness, you can address these symptoms by increasing the firmness of the arch support pads that make our OrthoSole products unique. Our 8mm heel lifts can also help to take the stress away from your plantar fascia and speed up the healing process.
Look after yourself from the moment you begin your new exercise plan, and we promise your body will thank you later! You can learn more about our insoles for sports here.