At 48 years old, I feel pretty good. But it hasn't come without a lot of time and attention to the small details that has kept me that way.
And for as much time as I've dedicated to keeping myself healthy, I've had my share of setbacks and injuries. It happens.
Our bodies age and there isn't anything we can do about the wear and tear that happens over time. And I don't necessarily mean beating it up with exercise, but rather the opposite; living a sedentary lifestyle, sitting a ton and becoming full of tight and weak muscles, ligaments, joints and tendons.
One of the main reasons that it's so important to stay injury free (besides the injury itself), is that often times, we use it as an excuse to let go of everything else. We let our diets go to sh*t because we figure what does it matter since we can't workout anyways. We'll let an injury derail all our efforts and we end up starting from square one again.
The good news is there are plenty of things we can do to help us stay injury free and here are the exact rules I have followed for years and still teach my clients to this day.
They aren't sexy or exciting but they very well may keep you from pulling a muscle or throwing out your back and sidelining you for weeks or months.
- Foam roll before every workout. 5 minutes is plenty.
- Do a dynamic warm up before every workout. Do not skip this step!
- Leave your ego at the door and lift within your limitations.
- Keep your workouts short and intense. No need for marathon sessions or training to failure.
- Walk as much as possible.
- Incorporate yoga and/or dedicated mobility work.
- Always use good form.
- Train in all three planes of motion.
- Use strength, power, balance, stability, and plyometric training as part of your total program.
- Stretch often.
- Stop competing against your 22 year old self. Your body has changed!
- Eat foods that add to your health.
- Sleep 7-8 hours a day.
- Make better lifestyle choices that are conducive to health instead of illness.
Start using some or all of these in your day and you'll be on your way to being injury free for a long time.