If you are someone who’s prone to injury, whether it’s due to old age, intense physical performance, or other factors, then this guide will be key to ensuring you stay as healthy as possible.
This is not medical advice from a doctor, and consulting with one should ALWAYS be your first option – with that said, following the advice from this article should reduce the chances of injury nearly tenfold.
We’ll go over clinically proven injury prevention strategies and some methods to help you recover as quickly as possible if something unfortunate were to happen.
3 Keys To Injury Prevention
To reduce the chances of injury whether bone, muscle or tendon based, we’ll be using a multi-pronged approach to ensure maximum prevention.
To keep it simple, we’ll be looking at 3 proven strategies to optimize the following:
- Dietary Changes
- Physical Prevention
- Proper Recovery
Following the recommended protocol from these 3 factors will be essential in keeping you injury free.
Keep in mind that ANY form of injury prevention is recommended for people of older age or for athletes, as even a minor injury can be extremely detrimental and intrusive to the lives of these people.
This is why it is key to implement as much advice in this article as possible to ensure that you can continue through life, injury/interruption free.
For starters, your diet has been shown to be a critical role in injury prevention depending on the diet type. [R]
Remember when your parents would tell you to drink milk to get strong bones?
Well, that’s actually true, as milk has lots of calcium which has been shown to enhance bone strength/density and prevent fractures especially when combined with vitamin D.
“Combined supplementation with 800 IU of vitamin D per day and 1200 mg of calcium per day has been recommended for prevention of fractures in older adults living in institutions and in those with low vitamin D status.” [R]
But a diet optimized for injury prevention will have more than just calcium as there are other important nutrients to consider such as:
- Vitamin D
- Omega 3’s
While you can get many of these key nutrients from your diet, if you want to ensure maximum protection then it’s recommended that you get these in supplemental form as well.
Supplements can be a great way to get key nutrients that would otherwise be difficult to get from your diet naturally.
Many supplements can be effective in directly preventing injury as well as dramatically speeding up the recovery process. Amino Asylum is a good example of an online store that sells such supplements.
The most optimal course of action however, would be to follow a diet rich in these nutrients and supplement wherever needed.
When it comes to physical prevention, it may seem counterintuitive, but the solution is to actually exercise MORE, but doing it properly is what’s key.
Studies show that compound movements, such as squats, deadlifts, etc. lead to a dramatic increase in bone, muscle, and tendon strength, leading to a far reduced chance of injury.
“Research indicates that resistance training promotes growth and/or increases in the strength of ligaments, tendons, tendon to bone and ligament to bone junction strength, joint cartilage and the connective tissue sheaths within the muscle. Studies involving humans and animal models also demonstrate resistance training can cause increased bone mineral content and therefore may aid in the prevention of skeletal injuries.” [R]
This may seem daunting to many people but rest assured you do not need to be squatting hundreds of pounds like an elite athlete to receive injury prevention benefits.
Simply doing bodyweight squats, or even easier modified pushups will provide a similar level of benefit, with a good rule of thumb being the more you put in, the more you’ll get out of it so long as you are not overtraining.
If you can do bodyweight squats and/or pushups then a good protocol would be to do roughly 3 sets of at least 10-12 reps for each.
If you cannot do these exercises then don’t worry! Simply going for walks as frequently as possible will still provide benefits, as even a simple walk will stimulate the muscles enough to help strengthen them, as well as bones, and tendons.
Lastly, we’ll talk about one of the most overlooked, yet most important aspects of injury prevention: Proper recovery.
While there are many factors that conclude a proper recovery regime, we’ll be taking a look at 3 of the most critical.
In no particular order, these 3 key recovery factors are:
- Quality Sleep
- Stress Management
- Recovery Days
Although these methods seem relatively simple, do not underestimate their importance as they play one of the most critical roles when it comes to injury prevention.
In the next few sections, we’ll look at how to make the most of each.
Quality sleep plays not only a critical role in injury prevention but overall quality of life.
When you sleep, your body is restoring itself and producing many critical hormones that your body needs not only to survive, but also repair and improve existing tissue.
Luckily quality sleep can be boiled down to two factors:
In other words, you need to make sure you’re getting enough sleep and that it’s high-quality, DEEP sleep.
A good general guideline would be to get between 7-9 hours of sleep for most people with the more being general the better and providing more benefits.
As far as depth of sleep goes, that will come down to having good lifestyle habits that support sleep such as no coffee after the morning, staying off of electronic screens before bed, etc.
Although it may not seem like it, keeping your cortisol (stress) levels low, is one of the most important things you can do not only for injury prevention but for your overall health.
Cortisol when left unchecked will wreak havoc on your bodily organs, which can severely reduce your body’s overall efficiency at keeping you healthy.
High levels of stress not only increase your likelihood of injury but high amounts of stress has been shown to severely prolong the recovery process of injuries as well. [R]
So if you live a stressful lifestyle then it may be time to do an audit and remove as many unhealthy stressors in your life as possible.
On top of that, it may also be beneficial to engage in activities that have been shown to reduce stress such as:
- Walks in nature
- Warm Bath or Shower
In doesn’t matter which one you choose, but for a healthier and injury-free lifestyle cutting out stress and cortisol is not only beneficial but necessary.
Taking recovery days is a bit more optional than the last two, but can be just as important depending on the person.
Recovery days are important for people who live either mentally or physically taxing lifestyles.
Most times people use the weekend to get some much-needed rest. However, this is not the case for everybody.
Some people schedule other events during their weekends, and never give their body the rest that it needs and end up burnt out within a couple of weeks but can never figure out why.
Even if you do not have an extremely taxing lifestyle, it’s not a bad idea to take a day or two a week to just relax and let your body process and heal from the previous days.
Preventing Injury: In Summary
As a general recap: Making some simple yet key changes to your diet, physical routines and recovery habits can make a MASSIVE role in preventing injury and speeding up the recovery process.
Overall I sincerely hope you enjoyed this article and have gleaned some useful information from it. That being said, remember that your number one option should always be to consult with your doctor on anything health related.
And until next time!