Are we at risk of injuries coming from exercise? Yes. However, the incidence of this is quite low. The CDC reports that injury from sports and recreation occurs at a rate of 35 per 1,000 people with most coming from sprains and strains. Injuries can be nagging and cause us to stop or alter our fitness routines and daily tasks. Some people do not do any exercise outright for fear of getting injured.
There are some ways to mitigate the risk of getting hurt from exercise. Here are a few:
Good programming and execution
Program design is a detail that is often an underrated aspect of exercise and fitness. Program design takes into account nuances like training volume, intensity, frequency, exercise selection, recovery rates, progression and the like. Program design is predicated on a good understanding of physiology and biomechanics to make training more effective. Good programs take into account who the individual is, what his goals are, what he can do, not do, when and how often he can exercise—the list goes on. Good programs should be found with an experienced and well-trained fitness professional. Programming and execution is an important key to reducing the risk of injuries.
Understand your limit
Pushing yourself to the limit is inspiring when you listen to motivational hype speeches on YouTube, but they can be poor practice for individuals who are not prepared and are just getting into the groove of exercise. While we do not want to be staying only in our comfort zone, going far beyond it can be disastrous. When performing your exercises, remember to “rev your engine” but take care not to blow it out.
Take care to recover
At the most basic, we are living organisms and exercise is a stressor to our systems. When the stress is too much on an organism, the organism does not respond well. For those who are new to strength training, spending 48 to 72 hours in recovery for most body parts seems to be good practice with performing 10 to 20 sets of exercises per body part. More than that, there does not seem to be an added benefit. When people think about recovery, they think about massages, stretching techniques and the like. What is often understated are the fundamentals, the importance of good quality sleep, active rest, and proper nutrition too. Work on fundamentals first and build your recovery routines from there.
In my line of work, I have seen countless injuries that could have easily been prevented, and injuries that are mishaps, which are really just accidents. Fear of getting injured should not discourage one from exercising. If you are undergoing any pain as a result of your exercise routines, make sure to consult with a medical professional for help on addressing your issues and guidance for preventing future injuries.