Overexertion and Injury Prevention

January 20, 2021

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Photo Courtesy: Getty Images

Exercising Smarter, Not Harder  

As we are officially in the new year and survived 2020, some people are still going with the classic New Year’s Resolutions to exercise more and eat healthier. Both of these are great goals to work towards at any point in time; but understanding injury prevention and overexertion before opening that new gym membership is key to long term health and improved quality of life.  

Interestingly, overexertion is simply what happens when you push yourself too hard either physically or mentally. The severity of overexertion can also depend on different things such as age, environment, medical history, and the specific task. There are also specific causes of exertion:  

  • Repetitive Movement: Even the smallest of movements can cause pain and discomfort if they are performed repetitively. Whether you are typing on a computer or training for a marathon; any repetitive motions can cause pain with the absence of breaks and rest times.  

  • Improper Technique: Engaging in any physical activity without following proper technique can put unnecessary stress on your muscles and joints. By following proper techniques you can still engage in your favorite activities without regretting it the next day. When in doubt, ask for help!  

  • Sudden Body Movement: Forceful and sudden movements can cause overexertion and injury. This is especially true if your muscles are stiff and have not been properly warmed up. Even if you are doing one of your favorite activities, sudden movements can cause a lot of pain.  

  • Prolonged Activity: Even if you are training to your own personal abilities, not giving yourself a day off can cause overexertion. It is key to always listen to your body.  

Now that you know how overexertion can occur, it is important to know some of the symptoms. If you are experiencing any unusual pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness in a specific area; there is a chance that you might have possibly overexerted yourself recently. 

Acknowledging this and resting is the next step. By giving yourself time to heal can help prevent further injuries that can quickly worsen such as stress fractures, sprains, and strains. Whether you are going to take up running, hiking, weight lifting, swimming, or something in between; watching out for overexertion can help prevent injuries!  

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