After all the Christmas and New Year feasting and in preparation of the Chinese New Year (and endless eating of local delights throughout the year), you may have set your mind to exercise regularly.
Before you start, though, you must be warned. Working out is great, but it may possibly leave you with battle scars – ankle sprains, worn out knees that ache in the cold, etc.
My workouts these days are carefully catered to not stress my knees and ankles. For all you sports junkies and workout enthusiasts out there, below are some tips by doctors on preventing sports injuries!
It’s always about the posture
My mom used to remind me not to slouch when I walk, to sit with my back straight and so on. Well, she nagged with good reason. Posture is the one thing we take for granted when we’re working out. When we exercise, we are shifting the weight of our bodies so it is always important to maintain a firm and balanced stance. Over time, uneven weight distribution coupled with the lack of a proper posture can lead to back aches, shoulder aches and knee pain.
Wear the right shoes
I know this sounds obvious but you’ll be surprised to find out how many people actually don’t wear the right shoes! Remember: there is always the right shoe. When you’re looking at buying shoes, please do not be led by fashion. Although I have to admit that the design is (sometimes) important, it’s also important to look at fit and comfort as well. Improper footwear is one of the most common causes of knee, ankle and feet problems.
Exercise for Dummies 101: Always warm up! It’s the one thing our Physical Education teachers made sure to teach us. Warming up helps prepare our bodies for the intensive activity that we’re about to put our bodies through. It is the one step we seem to forget way too often but it is also one of the steps that can help prevent muscle tears. (Now you know better than to forget warming up, right!)
Play it right
Most sports such as tennis, running, golf, etc., involve repetitive movements. Repetitive exercise combined with poor technique will definitely take a toll on your joints and bones. That is why it’s important to use the right technique!
And that involves a balance of strength training and cardio workouts. This not only helps us build our stamina and strength but also conditions our bodies to become more resistant to injuries. For example, stronger muscles can help reduce the load that our muscles undertake from during exercise.
I know most of this probably sounds like something you already know. But knowing is one thing, actually applying it is another!
Our bodies constantly undergo wear and tear as we age. The least we can do is to lessen its burden by preventing potential injuries to the best we can so here’s a reminder to apply what you already know or just learnt. Let’s make 2017 the year of healthy living!
Tips contributed by Dr Andrew Dutton, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Mount Elizabeth Hospital