Signs Your Fitness is Hurting You: Part 2

Exercise and fitness is good for a body- except when it’s not.

Over-ambitious exercisers can find themselves injured and subsequently frustrated when all their hard work results in have to rest and rehabilitate an injury. Movement-related injuries don’t tend to pop up out of nowhere: overuse, improper alignment and posture can all contribute to injury over time.

Here are a few clues that might signal that trouble is ahead and help avoid injury, even if you’re feeling good and strong now:

#2- You’re wearing equipment to keep you in business. 

Putting on a knee brace just to work out? Wearing a weight belt? Although these pieces of equipment can offer support, rehabilitation or prevent further injury, there are also potential dangers. Destabilization in the knee can have origins elsewhere, like the hips. Getting at the root of why a brace is necessary might be in order. Of course, when these items are prescribed, always listen to your doctor (not the Yoga teacher’s blog). With a weight belt, there needs to be a clear reason why it is necessary. Weight belts are often compensating for poor form* and should be used judiciously. If you’re strapping on a weight belt before your deadlifts or home improvement project, be sure to have a trained eye analyze your form for weakness and address the root of the issue.

Why take fitness advice from a Yoga teacher? I wasn’t always a Yoga teacher. Bull-dozing through pain and injury finally got me to seek a deeper mind-body connection, one I found through Yoga. As my skills grew, so did my realization that good Yoga form is simply good form, whether you’re bending down to tie your shoes or to pick up a 200-pound weighted bar. All movers can learn from each other: Good and bad. 

Seeking practices that build mind-body connection help us to examine blind spots in our vision and subtle cues that might be signaling troubles ahead. Mind-body practices like pilates, yoga and related tools can help build the connection to avoid injury while supporting general well-being.

Check out Part 1 and Part 3 for more tips!

* There are important reasons why heavy weight lifters might be wearing a belt. This is an observation based on watching many bodies move in a gym setting.

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