Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Holding Yourself Back Isn't A Bad Thing

Recently I broke and sprang my foot.  Embarrassingly enough I was going over some new dances to teach in class.  Today was my first day back to teaching yoga, and I got a lot of "oh you poor thing," and "what are you doing for work right now?"  After a few of the statements/questions I was inspired to write this post.

As an instructor I would rather break every bone in my body, so that I can prevent those I teach and advise on what NOT to do before it's too late.  What I'm getting at is this very painful and inconvenient injury could have easily been avoided.  My biggest mistake, false confidence. I had ignored my body's fatigue, I was practicing on carpet, and what I'm most ashamed of, I was not wearing shoes.  I figured "Hey, I get paid to teach this class.  I know what I'm doing."  I should have practiced what I preach.

The more we exercise, or anything we do frequently, often creates a false sense of security, and can eventually lead to a stupid mistake.  Every time we hit the gym or enjoy an at home work out we should be hyper aware of our body's needs, this alone can prevent a plethora of accidents.

Here's some tips and reminders on learning from my accident:

A lot of this will sound like common sense, but with that sense of false security we often forget the most basics of rules.

  1. Always wear the proper shoes (excepting yoga, pilates, etc.).  I know this sounds really obvious, but think closely.  Have you ever purchased a DVD of the latest fitness craze?  Did you always wear the proper shoes or shoes at all?  I've seen this done a lot amongst family and friends, and obviously I am no exception.
  2. Avoid carpeting if possible.  This may sound weird, but carpeting has padding and that throws off the body's natural balance; making missteps more dangerous.  Don't believe me? Try balancing on one foot on carpeting, and then hard floor; time the differences, but I bet you'll feel a difference.
  3. The last reminder and the most important.  Listen to aches and pains.  The old school rule of just walk it off is a dangerous rule of thumb.  Pain and discomfort is the body's way of saying "SHHH Somethings wrong.  I need rest."  My favorite example:  If your smoke detector sounded an alarm, would you stay in your house?  No, because if you stay the fire is only going to grow if you don't take action.

Remember to pay attention; these silly errors can take you away from your fitness routine and worse can cause permanent damage.


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