January is always a fitness-focused month in Ireland, but it is important that you don’t overdo it in bid to become healthier.
Senior Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist in the Beacon Hospital, Shane O’Brien, joined Ivan Yates on The Hard Shoulder to explain what needs to be done when exercising to avoid injuries.
The top three sport injuries O'Brien said he sees most frequently are back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain, which are often caused by people doing “too much too soon”.
'Exercising more' usually ranks high in people’s New Year’s resolutions, particularly for those who haven’t been involved in exercise or activity for some time. These are the people more at risk of doing harm to themselves.
“People are now exercising at a higher level”
When it comes to sport, O’Brien believes that the intensity of playing sport has increased, from speed to training frequency.
Along with that, people today tend to have more sedentary type occupations, which can also add to the body not being as prepared as it once was for exercise.
“I don’t like to impose limitations to people”
While age plays a factor in most things, O’Brien maintained that if you are somebody who has always been active, there is no harm in continuing to exercise into your later years once you take a sensible approach to things.
Some of the tips O'Brien offered to avoid injury when exercising included:
The purpose of this is to increase your heart rate and wake up the muscles for activity. He advised doing a series of “dynamic exercises”, but to ensure the warm up is relative to the exercise you are going to do. By doing this, it avoids a spike in exercise, which is what can cause tendon related aches and pains.
According to the American College of Sport Medicine we should be aiming for “150 minutes of moderately intense exercise per week”. The best way to avoid injury here is to include strength and resistance sessions into your plan to ensure a variety of muscles are being worked.
Listen to the full interview here: