Hi, my name’s Dr. Steve Gangemi. I’m going to talk about health and injury prevention, and why injuries occur.
Obviously, many athletes get injured from traumatic accidents. You could be climbing a wall, falling, sprain an ankle. You could be out on a run and land in a hole wrong. You could be doing some mobility exercises and end up injuring a shoulder. But, pretty much, a lot of athletes become injured from chronic injuries, from chronic imbalances, lurking in the background of their body, when their nervous system is too stressed out, their physiology is too taxed. And all of a sudden, you’re sort of out there, you’re climbing, you’re working out, you’re doing some sort of training, and your shoulder starts to hurt, maybe your knee starts to hurt, it doesn’t feel just quite right, and next thing you know, you end up with an injury.
One way to understand why injuries occur and they just sort of happen to somebody even though they’ve been there for a while, they just haven’t revealed themselves, is to understand the training equation, that training is pretty much working out, that’s your exercise routine, that’s your bout of running, climbing, jumping, plus rest, rest and recovery. So rest and recovery need to be balanced with how hard you’re training. The harder you’re working out, the more you need to recover, and on easy days you don’t need to recover as much, although you always, of course, need to sleep well and be eating well. But, if you’re eating poorly, if you’re not resting well, if your body is too stressed out, say if you have a lot of family issues you’re dealing with, a lot of work issues, then that’s going to affect your training capacity and your training intensity. So the harder you train, the longer you train, or even the more complex your training activities are, the more likely you will be to get injured.
So you want to be balancing this training equation to offset how hard you’re training and how long you’re training with rest and recovery, and the more you do this, the better chance you’ll stand of not becoming injured. Not only that, if you do end up injured, say you end up just being unlucky one day and you do fall, even if you get in an accident like a car accident, or you fall off your bike or something like that, the more healthy you are, the more balanced your nervous system is, the quicker you’ll recover from that injury, whether it be that ankle sprain or a whiplash, or a bad back from an accident. And, furthermore, you’ll prevent further injuries from occurring down the line, and you’ll end up increasing your performance as you train more and more because you’ll improve your adaptation to exercise.
So think about the training equation. Think about working out plus rest. Don’t assume that it’s just all about working out. A lot of your training gains are going to occur while you’re sleeping, while you’re recovering, while you’re resting well, and that’ll allow you to train harder so you can get better at your sport and better at your event.