High intensity workouts that encourage people to push themselves and test their limits with a combination of cardio, weight lifting and core training are becoming increasingly popular. The benefits of high intensity training include lowering body fat, lowering blood sugar, and increasing cardiovascular endurance. The workouts and competitive nature can push people to a new level of fitness that they have not seen before. However, as in all exercise programs, sometimes people can overdo and not listen to warning signs their body is sending them.
Dr. Sean Rockett, Orthopedic Surgeon at NEBH and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, is on the Medical Team for the CrossFit Games and the Northeast Regionals. After treating many athletes, Dr. Rockett breaks down the most common injuries and how to prevent them.
Moderation is the Key to Injury Prevention
Doing too much too quickly is one of the most common reasons people become injured in any type of athletic activity. It is important to start slow and gradually work your way up to achieving your goals and personal records. As a beginner it is important to not get lost in the competitive nature of the workout and focus on listening to your body and learning your limits.
Avoid Overuse Injuries
Overuse injuries occur gradually over time from repetitive stress without allowing the body to heal between exercises. Overuse injuries can occur in any muscle or joint and include tendinitis, stress fractures and shin splints. Rest days are just as important as training days, so be sure to give muscles time to rest and rebuild each week to avoid injury.
Always Use the Proper Form
It is important to learn how to properly perform exercises before you do them. As you are working out and pushing yourself, your body can become fatigued and it can be difficult to maintain proper form. When form breaks down, injuries occur. If you notice you can no longer perform an exercise correctly, stop the workout.
Listen to Your Body
If you have any type of persistent pain, it is best to get it looked at by a physician. Untreated pain can lead to chronic problems that may keep you from activity for a longer period of time. Be sure to ask your doctor or healthcare professional before starting any new exercise routine.
So, Are High Intensity Workouts Safe?
There are risks to every workout regardless of intensity. It is important to understand your risks before trying a new workout. If done properly, high intensity workouts can be safe. Keep in mind the above tips to ensure you stay in the game.