It doesn’t matter if you enjoy a pickup basketball game on the weekends or are a professional athlete, the number one way to prevent injury is with adequate physical conditioning. Not only do proper sports training regimens help decrease the risk of injury, but they also help decrease the severity of an injury if it should occur and can help reduce the risk of recurrent injury.
For example, when an athlete performs strengthening exercises for muscles around specific joints like the knee, it helps stabilize the joint and reduces the danger of injuries. In addition to reducing the chance of injury, strengthening the ligaments around the knee improves stabilization of the knee and can even enhance athletic skill.
Physical training falls into two primary groups: aerobic and anaerobic. Each group has its own benefits and should be utilized as part of a comprehensive conditioning program aiming toward injury prevention and maximizing athletic performance.
The Benefits of Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercises for Injury Prevention
Both aerobic and anaerobic exercise help increase cardiovascular endurance. Sufficiently conditioning the cardiovascular and respiratory systems helps athletes delay the onset of fatigue during physical activity. Not sure what “aerobic and anaerobic” mean? Hold tight, we will explain in just a second. When an athlete is fatigued, they are vulnerable to injury and the nervous and muscular systems are unable to efficiently repair the body after injury.
With the use of aerobic and anaerobic exercise in sports training, cardiovascular endurance is increased and subsequent fatigue is delayed. In addition to these injury-reducing benefits, both aerobic and anaerobic exercise offer diverse health and fitness benefits that make them an essential addition to any training program.
What is Aerobic Training?
Aerobic training (often referred to in sports medicine as “moderate-intensity” training) is a type of conditioning that relies on the continual intake of oxygen during the workout. With aerobic exercise, our body burns both fat and stored glucose as fuel for our performance. The benefits of this type of exercise is twofold: our bodies begin to burn calories at a higher rate and our stamina is improved. For example, aerobic training will help runners run for longer periods of time. This helps delay leg fatigue during longer distances and reduces injury risk. Aerobic training also benefits your overall health by burning fat and strengthening your heart and lungs.
In order to get the most benefits out of an aerobic exercise, you’ll want to exercise hard enough to know that your body is working, but not so much that you are out of breath and unable to talk.
Examples of beneficial aerobic exercise include the following:
What is Anaerobic Training?
In sports medicine, anaerobic training is also known as “high-intensity training.” This type of training is more intensive than aerobic and involves pushing an athlete to the limits of his or her abilities. During anaerobic training, your heart and breathing rate is accelerated so much that it is difficult to carry on a conversation. The body will continue to generate energy in the absence of oxygen and it’s common to feel out of breath or even the need to focus on breathing. With the increased effort involved with anaerobic training, the body uses carbohydrates for fuel, helping improve the body’s overall metabolic rate. This type of training works with activities that aren’t sustained for long periods without rest, like lifting weights or sprinting.
High intensity training offers many health benefits, including an “after burn” effect. An “after burn” effect means the body continues to burn calories for up to two hours after you’ve completed exercising. The amount of energy expended during the recovery phase is dependent on the intensity of the anaerobic activity. In addition to improving the body’s metabolism, anaerobic exercise enhances explosive strength, speed, and power that translates into better athletic performance and a reduced risk of injury while participating in your chosen sport.
Orthopedic Specialists and Injury Prevention Experts in Los Angeles
Whether you’re a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, proper conditioning plays an essential role in injury prevention. However, if you’ve suffered an injury, Beverly Hills orthopedic surgeon Steven W. Meier, MD and his team at Meier Orthopedic Sports Medicine are experts in a wide-range of orthopedic injuries and the latest sports medicine treatments, including innovative regenerative medicine, to help return you to full function and improved athletic performance. If you’ve suffered a sports injury, contact our sports medicine experts today.
Next, read Avoiding Common Winter Injuries