Think golf hurt your back? Has running worn down your knees? Is tennis the reason your elbow hurts? Often times we sustain an injury while participating in an activity or sport. Learn to take a broader perspective for the elements related to physical performance. Injury or discomfort during performance often reveal some broader patterns to be aware of.
It’s challenging to exercise every day. Even when we make it happen on a regular basis, it may not be enough to offset the overwhelming number of hours that we sit. School, work, commuting, and electronics dominate our schedules as adults. As the years go by, our ratio of time spent “moving vs. sitting” starts to tilt towards the latter. It’s hard to predict exactly how it will affect us physically, but it is something to be aware of.
Tight hips, poor posture, and a less responsive neuromuscular system are direct results of sitting too much. Many of us can get by in our 20’s and 30’s without having to consider warm ups, stretching, and cool down routines. A busy work week or travel for a meeting would have minimal impact on our weekend activities. Yet if you’ve reached a point in your life where biomechanical issues are starting to bother you, it’s time to change your approach.
Of course its possible to take a bad swing or twist an ankle, that happens in sports all the time. But the routine plays that you’ve always enjoyed should not be causing you pain unless you are bringing a body that isn’t prepared to make them. Hip and leg muscles might not be as ready to rotate or stop short as they once were. It makes no difference that you never used to have to pay attention. All that matters is that you consciously prepare yourself today.
Individuals who enjoy a healthy lifestyle evolve their personal practice as they age. If you play sports or activities seasonally, think about the demands of your sport. If you’ve been dealing with any tight spots, give them attention and make sure you are ready to go. It’s better to be prepared and prevent an injury than have to deal with a lengthy recovery. Dynamically warmup before you move and allow some time for relaxing stretches afterwards. A little effort goes a long way.