A recent analysis of more than 26,000 participants who engaged in avariety of sports found those who engaged in balance and strength trainingexercises in addition to stretching experienced a reduction in injury risk thanthose who engaged in only stretching exercises.
Researchers gathered data from randomly assigned participants in variousstudies, comparing those who completed certain strength training and balanceexercises and who did not. The studiesthen followed the participants over the period of a year to see who becameinjured and who did not. Overall, thestudy analyzed approximately 3,500 injuries out of the entire group. Stretching programs showed little to nobenefit for averting an injury, but evidence gathered also looked at theeffects of balance exercises and strength training. They found a 45 percent lower risk of injuryamong people who practiced balancing activities, and a 68 percent drop ininjury among those who engaged in strength training. Benefits of balance or strengtheningexercises seemed to apply to those with overuse injuries or acute sprains andtears.
Though there is a lack of study purporting one particular type of strengthtraining or balance work out over another, the overall message was clear – awell-rounded fitness program includes strength training, cardio, balance andflexibility components.
Another thing noted by experts in the study was that the technique withwhich an athlete performs an activity - whether it’s running, lifting, or yoga– also has a correlation between how the body adapts and responds to variousmovements that could cause injury. “Technique is really important. Very basic techniques, like landing,” said Bing Yu from the Universityof North Carolina. Establishing thistechnique early on in athletic development is crucial for athletes or beginnerexercisers in developing a long-term fitness regimen.
Another thing mentioned was to not overdo any form of activity. Proper rest, nutrition, and form all add upto healthy, injury-free physical lifestyle that will benefit a personthroughout their lifetime.
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