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Don't Let Exercise Cause Chronic and Degenerative Injuries

Posted Aug 24 2008 10:02pm

I just finished an intense 20 minute interval cardio session in which I burned about 300 calories. For those of you counting at home, that's about 100 calories every 6.5 minutes. I could do this type of workout (and many do) or a variation of it every day. And, if I did this, my body would break down in short order. Even when I was at the height of my athletic mojo playing college ball, I still needed a day or two off each week to rest and recover .

You are no different. Don't think that you are being smart, or tough, by working out every day of the week. You can be a "workout warrior" and still be smart about it. Trust me, your body will break down if you don't treat it right. The cumulative effect of various injuries will take its toll on you. And, that could lead to chronic or degenerative injuries.

Chronic injuries can be caused by over-training, muscle imbalances and uncorrected postural deficiencies . Furthermore, muscle imbalances and postural problems are made worse by over-training. And, since chronic injuries come on gradually, you are more apt to "play through the pain." Leave that attitude to people getting paid to compete. You need to take care of the only body you have.

Degenerative conditions can become non-reversible and many are associated with long-term joint problems. Sometimes, previously unrehabilitated injuries turn into degenerative conditions (such as low back problems , shoulder problems or knee problems ). Some arthritic conditions are brought on by the cumulative effect of previous injuries.

Don't underestimate rest and recovery during your exercise program.

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