Thursday, October 30, 2008

Safety - Do no Harm.....

I've raised this idea before but I've been thinking about it a bit more. Do no harm!

Training should enhance your life and your performance rather than exhaust or injure you. Sure, train hard. But do not go mad and hurt yourself. I have been there myself. Pushed and pushed and ultimately injured myself creating issues that are still problems for my training.

When it comes down to it, most of you reading this are not elite athletes. We are normal guys with jobs and family and other commitments. Whatever we do should not be detracting from our lives. We need simple appropriate routines that will deliver health and improved performance within the context of the rest of our lives.

Anyway, I've read a few things recently that have put some pieces together around this stuff:

Rannoch made some great points:

So many of us weekend warriors kid ourselves as we thumb through the latest routines in the glossy fitness mags (they're no slouches, they've cottoned on, they even speak a little of our language but you know they are still whoring for the man) as we surf the sites of the extreme performance junkies, egging ourselves on to try that oh so hard routine that makes grown pentathletes hurl in their hightops. Well, you know what? Leave 'em to it. I have priorities and blowing a gasket and messing with my immune system is not high on the list.

Live to fight another day. We are not all cut out to be Ironman. Anyway, those suckers look pretty sick to me.

Then there was this Israeli study. "Increasing numbers of adults are pursuing amateur athletics during their leisure hours. But we've found worrying indications that this activity –– when not done properly –– may have negative effects on the musculoskeletal system,"

All ball sports should be played with caution, Dr. Ratzon advises, including sports like golf, basketball, tennis and squash. "Your body is meant to work in a certain way," says Dr. Ratzon. "If you jump for the tennis ball while twisting your back, you put too much stress on your body because it's an unnatural movement."

Stretching before playing sports is an obvious prevention method against long-term damage. But people should take other measures to keep their bodies fit. If you play baseball, tennis, or golf, Dr. Ratzon suggests that you balance this asymmetrical activity by alternating the use of your right and left arms before, during and after the game, at home or at the office.

"There is really a long list of things people should integrate into their mindset when playing amateur sports," says Dr. Ratzon, an expert on the risks of physical recreation. Other factors such as noise, poor weather, and lack of proper rest should also be considered, she says.

People should avoid stressing about their amateur sports activities, notes Dr. Ratzon. If they get anxious when they don't find time for the team each week and shut out other important aspects of their life, such as time with the family, the stress can exacerbate a predisposition to chronic health problems.

1 comment:

scott said...

This is so true and is coming at an appropriate time for me. After having deeply tweaked my hip/back doing one-arm dumbell snatches, I'm taking a couple of weeks off and re-evaluating what the hell I'm doing.

My leg routines have been leaving me so sore it is difficult to walk 5 days out of 7. I get this weird "work-through-the-pain" mindset as if I'm training for some event and have to stay on schedule...and I'm not training for anything. I overestimate my training capacity until suddenly I feel like I have the flu, get exhausted and eat crap I shouldn't.

I start a new routine and think I've got it figured out (again), but then make the same mistakes in different ways.

At least I've been doing this long enough to know how my body handles stuff. So hopefully this time I can think seriously about what is really important for me to be able to do the rest of my life, from basic functional movements to the stuff I enjoy (hiking and kayaking) and design a program to support it, that invigorates me and that does not diminish everything else I like to do.

Reality: Not for wimps.