Prevent Overtraining

By Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC

Las Vegas Informer

Exercise to develop and maintain your health and fitness. Exercise is the most important tool to improve your aerobic and anaerobic fitness. Performing the proper amount of exercise is imperative to achieving peak fitness and preventing injuries.

Overtraining prevention and injury prevention is best achieved through intelligent training strategies.

Injury prevention is easier, faster and less expensive that injury rehabilitation.

Overtraining: Overtraining is preventable. Overtraining injuries are preventable.  Overtraining leads to injury, pain, frustration and derailed progress.

Running Injuries: Common running overtraining injuries include: Stress fractures, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, iliotibial band syndrome, patello-femoral syndrome, patellar tendonitis, hamstring strains, hip flexor strains and lower back sprain/strains.

Weight Training Injuries: Common weight lifting overtraining include: Lumbar sprain/strain, sciatica, shoulder impingement syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome, bicipital tendonitis, rotator cuff tendonitis, tricep tendonitis, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome and hamstring strains.

Overuse Injuries: Training injuries occur for several reasons. Some reasons are unavoidable, most are easily avoidable. The most common training injuries occur due to improper technique and poor training methods.

Overtraining Prevention: Prevent overtraining and overuse injuries with six important training strategies.

1)  Maintain an exercise and dietary journal.

2)  Develop individual training strategies geared toward health.

3)  Start at a level appropriate for you and increase intensity in gradual increments.

4)  Vary the exercises and exercise types.

5)  Listen to your body’s signals.

6)  Allow your body sufficient rest and recovery time.

Exercise Journal: Maintain detailed exercise and dietary journals. Record the details of your workouts to provide yourself information on how your training is progressing.

Constantly analyze your exercise journal to observe correlations between injuries and training methods. Modify your training according.

Individual training strategies geared toward health: Find a type of exercise you enjoy and do it correctly and consistently. Find a second type of exercise you enjoy that compliments the first type and do it correctly and consistently. This should be the basis of your individual exercise program. Develop and perform exercise routines that work for you.

Establish training goals that move you toward living a healthier life. Gear your training regiment toward achieving a higher level of health and fitness. Improving your health and fitness is more important than how much you weigh and how much weight you can lift.

Training to get healthier should always be your number one priority. Exercising to get and stay healthy lowers the risk of overtraining.

Start at a level appropriate for you and increase intensity in gradual increments: Doing too much too soon is the most common training mistake and the most common source of overtraining and overuse injuries.

Begin your training at a level that is appropriate for your current health and fitness. Gradually increase your intensity. A general rule is to increase intensity by only ten percent each week. Slow measureable intensity increases provide the body ample time to adapt and respond properly to your training.

Implement gradual calculated increases in your training intensity to eliminate the most common source of overtraining.

Exercise Variety: Incorporate the muscle confusion principle to maximize results and minimize the risk of injury. Perform an array of exercises to target the muscles at a wide range of angles. This prevents the muscles and joints from being stressed in the identical manner repeatedly.

Continuously modify your training program to prevent overuse injuries. Weight training exercises, repetitions and sets can be changed to avert injury. Continually change your cardiovascular exercises to avoid constantly taxing the body the same way.

Spicing up your routine creates new challenges for your body while lessening the risk of overtraining and overuse injuries.

Listen to your body’s signals: Pain and symptoms are a signal that an underlying problem exists. Never attempt to train through joint, nerve or bone pain. This will cause further underlying damage and increase the symptoms.

“No pain, no Gain” is a marketing slogan meant to push you through muscle fatigue. It is not an intelligent training strategy.

Pay close attention to your body’s signals before, during and after training. If an exercise doesn’t feel right or elicits symptoms, forego that exercise and proceed to another.

Paying close attention to your body’s signal and how you feel during exercise is called perceived exertion. This common sense training approach allows you to listen to your body and adjust your workout intensity accordingly.

Rest and Recovery: Allow your body and mind sufficient rest between training sessions. Full recovery between workouts is vital in the prevention of overuse injuries.

Overtraining occurs when the entire body or individual body parts are not provided sufficient time to recover. The body repairs itself and recharges during rest. Bones, joints, ligaments and muscles require rest to repair and grow stronger.

Do not repeat a specific exercise or training day routine if you are still sore from the previous workout. If you are still sore, spend your training time stretching, working another body part, performing easy cardiovascular training or completely resting.

Proper rest and recovery is easy to neglect. Often times we get overzealous in pursuit of training goals. Fight the urge to skip a rest day and provide your body the adequate recovery time it requires. Recover from your training sessions to improve your health and lower your risk of developing an overuse injury.

Final Words: Exercise is essential for all ages. Intelligent training strategies yield optimum results and prevent overtraining. Utilize the six training strategies outlined in this article to avoid the perils of overtraining, reduce the risk of developing an overuse injury and receive the maximum benefit from your exercise routine. Train hard and train smart for optimum health and fitness.

Dr_Donald_A_Ozello_thumb_medium150_Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC is the owner and treating doctor at Championship Chiropractic. 2595 S. Cimarron Rd, Suite #100, Las Vegas, NV 89117.  His web address is Championship Chiropractic. He can be contacted at (702) 286-9040 and DrO@ChampionshipChiropractic.com.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello’s mission is to educate and inspire others to live healthier, fitter, more functional lives.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC proudly handles Standard Process Supplements and Foot Levelers Orthotics.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC writes a weekly health, fitness, exercise and nutrition column for The Las Vegas Informer. His is published in OnFitness MagazineLivestrong.comSpineUniverse.com and EHow.com.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC is an award-winning public speaker. He has spoken to numerous groups on the importance of health, fitness, exercise, ergonomics, nutrition and injury prevention.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC is a fitness enthusiast. Functional kettlebell training, bike riding and running are his favorite forms of exercise.

Before pursuing his career in Chiropractic, Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC served in the United States Navy aboard the USS Bremerton, SSN 698.

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