At the Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio, we’re committed to helping our patients feel their best and reduce their risk of sports or activity-related injuries. We’ve found that one of the best ways to achieve this goal is by focusing on overall wellness. While things like proper sleep, nutrition and stress management are crucial for your general health, it’s also important to stay physically fit to help avoid simple incidences that can cause pain or injury.

That’s why regular exercise is at the top of our list for improving your wellness. It enhances muscle and joint function, keeps your bones strong and decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease. And since many orthopedic injuries surround a particular joint or bone structure in the body, engaging in a regular exercise routine should be a priority for people of all ages.

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete, a weekend warrior, or you’re just looking for more ways to stay active, keep reading for tips on improving your overall wellness to prevent injury and minimize pain.

Benefits of Overall Fitness

Improves Your Health

Improved overall fitness can benefit you in many ways. When you’re physically fit, you have better cardiovascular health, stronger muscles and bones, and more flexibility and balance. This can help you prevent injuries and recover more quickly after a workout.

In addition, regular exercise and physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, decrease your risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart disease, and improve your mental health and well-being. Overall, focusing on improving your overall fitness can have a positive impact on many aspects of your life.

Builds Strength & Endurance

Strengthening your muscles through regular exercise can help support your joints and improve your stability. Strong muscles are better able to absorb impact and handle sudden movements, which can reduce the risk of injuries such as strains, sprains and fractures.

Exercise and improved overall fitness can also increase your endurance, so you’re less likely to become fatigued during physical activity. Fatigue can increase the risk of injury by causing your muscles to tire and making it harder to maintain controlled, efficient movements.

Enhances Flexibility & Balance

Exercise can improve your balance and coordination, which can prevent injury by helping you maintain better body control. This is especially important for people who feel unsteady on their feet and older adults who are at a greater risk of falls and other accidents.

Regular stretching and exercise can also increase your flexibility, making it easier for your body to move through its full range of motion without pain or discomfort. Additionally, improved flexibility can lead to better joint health, posture and overall fitness.

Injury Prevention Tips

Stay in Shape

Carrying extra weight puts more strain on your joints, bones and muscles, increasing the risk of orthopedic injuries. In fact, every pound of weight gained puts an additional 2 to 4 lbs of pressure on the body’s joints. This helps to explain why many individuals with obesity develop arthritis and are more likely to need a total knee replacement compared to others of the same age. The additional wear and tear of obesity can also increase the risk of other orthopedic conditions, such as bunions, plantar fasciitis and spinal disc degeneration.

Warm-up by Stretching

Stretching is an essential part of any fitness routine. Some benefits of stretching before a workout include improved blood flow, flexibility, and range of motion, all of which can help to reduce the risk of pain and serious injury. Additionally, stretching helps “loosen up” your muscles, joints and tendons to prepare them for physical activity.

Stretching can also help your body relax and improve recovery after exercise. It gives you a chance to gradually wind down and reduces the build-up of lactic acid throughout the body, improving the symptoms of muscle soreness and fatigue.

Follow the 10% Rule

For many people, a common cause of sports-related injury is increasing the time, type or intensity of activity too quickly. To prevent this, fitness experts often recommend that both beginner and expert athletes build up their activity levels gradually to minimize the risk of injury by following the 10% rule, which limits increases in weekly training.

The 10% rule states that you should increase your activity by no more than 10% each week. So, for example, if you’re currently biking 20 miles per week and want to improve, you should add no more than 2 miles to your biking distance the next week. Similarly, if you’re lifting 50 pounds but your goal is higher, increase the weight by 5 pounds each week.

This gradual increase allows your body time to adapt to the demands of the exercise, reducing the risk of injuries such as muscle strains, stress fractures and tendonitis.

BetterU Program

If you’re interested in more concrete ways to reach your fitness goals, reduce the risk of injury and minimize pain, the Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio offers a comprehensive sports performance and wellness program called BetterU. This program is designed for athletes of all ages and aims to improve their overall fitness and prevent injuries. The BetterU program helps bridge the gap between physical therapy and sports performance by focusing on three key areas: strength and conditioning, injury prevention and health & wellness strategies.

Strength and conditioning sessions are led by certified coaches and are designed to improve your overall physical fitness and performance. These sessions include exercises to improve muscle strength, endurance, agility, speed and range of motion, as well as injury prevention methods such as proper form and warm-up/cool-down routines.

Injury prevention is another key component of the BetterU program. The program includes training in techniques such as stretching and mobility exercises to help athletes reduce their risk of injury. In addition, the BetterU program offers injury assessments and physical therapy services for athletes who do experience injuries.

Health and wellness strategies are also an important part of the BetterU program. The program offers guidance on healthy eating habits and provides athletes with information on proper hydration, nutrient timing and recovery nutrition.

Overall, the BetterU program is a comprehensive approach to sports performance and wellness. Led by an expert team, it aims to improve your overall fitness, reduce your risk of injury, minimize pain and provide you with the tools you need to reach your goals.

Click here to learn more about the BetterU program and see it in action.

Ready to Feel Your Best?

Focusing on your overall wellness is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of sports-related injuries. By taking care of yourself, you can improve your strength, health and fitness to help your body function at its absolute best — without any nagging discomfort or pain.

If you’re not sure where to start, we can help. The Orthopaedic Institute of Ohio’s BetterU program is designed for people of all ages and fitness levels who are looking to improve their athletic performance, prevent injury, minimize pain and feel their best. With personalized 1-on-1 coaching, expert advice and proven health and wellness strategies, our goal is to keep you motivated and give you the tools you need to be successful.

To learn more or schedule your first session, give us a call at 419-222-6622.