By Brian Acton
Physical activity is about more than just burning calories or the enjoyment of breaking a sweat. Regular movement is actually a great way to avoid physical injury, from the everyday to the extraordinary. Here’s how regular exercise can help prevent future injuries.
1. Resistance Training Helps Guard Muscles and Bones Against Injury Resistance training - common forms of which include weightlifting, Olympic lifting, and body weight exercises – involve contracting your muscles against an external resistance to build muscle strength, tone, mass, or endurance. Studies have shown that resistance training builds stronger muscles and promotes the growth and strengthening of ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and connective tissue. Resistance training may even increase bone mineral content. As a result, resistance training can help reduce the frequency and occurrence of overuse injuries such as muscle sprains and tennis elbow and even prevent skeletal injuries such as fractures.
2. Physical Endurance Reduces Fatigue and Overuse Injuries Endurance is the ability to exert yourself physically and remain active for a sustained period of time. The more you condition your body with exercise and physical exertion, the better your endurance will be over time (remember, you should increase exertion levels gradually to avoid overdoing it). Endurance is important for many different aspects of physical health, including your muscles, cardiorespiratory system, and more. The better your endurance, the longer you can sustain athletic and everyday physical activities without experiencing fatigue or overuse injuries. Without strong endurance, your body may be more susceptible to these types of injury.
3. Obesity Can Lead to Greater Injury Risk When balanced with a healthy diet and lifestyle, regular exercise can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. This can help you prevent several health conditions and injuries, as obesity is strongly associated with a greater probability of injuries like sprains, fractures, and joint dislocations.
4. Sedentary Lifestyles Can Contribute to Injuries A sedentary lifestyle involves a lot of time spent sitting in one place. A lack of physical activity can lead to deconditioning, a form of exercise intolerance which harms your body’s ability to perform physical activities and causes premature muscle fatigue. Prolonged sitting can also lead to cardiovascular issues, decreased muscle mass and a greater risk of musculoskeletal injuries. Osteoarthritis and joint inflammation have also been linked to sedentary lifestyles. Make sure to break up periods of sitting with consistent movement to avoid future injuries.