Back to Top Skip to main content

Repetition, intensity can build a ‘recipe for injury’ during workouts

Avoiding any sudden increases in activity level, duration, load, and intensity can help prevent overuse injuries. Injuries can also happen as a result of technique errors, such as poor form during strength training exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys) Avoiding any sudden increases in activity level, duration, load, and intensity can help prevent overuse injuries. Injuries can also happen as a result of technique errors, such as poor form during strength training exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys)

Recommended Content:

Physical Activity | Preventive Health | Operation Live Well

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — You may be telling yourself, “no pain, no gain,” as you hit your usual speed on the treadmill for the fourth day in a row. But more of the same is not always better. Whether sudden or gradual, injuries can often be prevented through moderation, proper form, and adequate rest.

Diana Settles, physical readiness and injury prevention manager at Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center in Portsmouth, Virginia, said overuse injuries can be a significant health and readiness threat among service members.

“The goal is for [physical activity] to establish a solid foundation of fitness and strength, building up over time, to allow for pain-free and injury-free participation,” said Settles. Doing too much too quickly or exercising for too long, especially after little to no physical activity, can lead to injuries. “Overuse injuries can be subtle, occurring gradually over time, so early recognition and prevention is important.”

An estimated 25 million limited-duty days, during which service members are unable to perform their full duties, are given out every year across all services, said Settles. These restrictions can result from too much physical activity, which usually occurs while off duty, and can directly affect readiness, she added.

Service members, veterans, and family members, regardless of age, are at risk for overuse injuries. Seeing a doctor before beginning any intense or new workout routine is recommended, especially if prior injuries exist. A physician can provide advice on what to avoid or exercises to try based on individual needs.

Avoiding any sudden increases in activity level, duration, load, and intensity can help prevent overuse injuries, said Settles. Injuries can also happen as a result of technique errors, such as poor form during strength training exercises.

Tim Kelly, head athletic trainer at the United States Military Academy in New York, said people should be realistic in their goals and not add too much intensity before building a base in strength and endurance. Some high-intensity training programs can be harmful if they’re not done correctly, he added.

“Some people kind of step into it and go from zero to 100 miles an hour in one to two days, and that’s really a recipe for injury,” said Kelly. “If you’re not used to doing some of those exercises or have a really good baseline for doing them, I think you’ll probably end up injured.”

Gradually starting a workout routine can help people get into shape without putting too much stress on muscles and joints. Workouts should involve a mix of movements and intensities in order to build power, strength, and endurance. Recovery time is essential for injury prevention when working out consistently. Without rest and recovery, the body eventually becomes overloaded and fatigued.

“If you don’t have good quality sleep, you’re probably not getting the recovery you need based on the workout you had that day,” said Kelly. “Those two are linked fairly close in my opinion.”

Paying attention to what the body is communicating is one of the best ways to avoid injuries, said Kelly. If a person experiences prolonged soreness or pain, especially joint pain, after workouts, that’s a good warning sign of overdoing workouts, added Kelly. Recovery, which can be done through rest, or less intensity and repetitions, is recommended.

“No one is immune to overuse injuries,” said Settles. “We want our warfighters and their families to be healthy and active, but it’s also important to be mindful and safe while doing just that.”

You also may be interested in...

Environmental health works behind the scenes to keep Soldiers ready

Article
7/8/2018
Army Spc. Johnathan Vargas from Environmental Health at Kenner Army Health Clinic conducts a water test using a LaMontte water quality kit at the Fort Lee dining facility while conducting an inspection recently. (U.S. Army photo by Lesley Atkinson)

On the team are a mix of military and civilian employees who conduct inspections, food safety training, water sampling and entomology services

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health

Sports drinks: What are you really putting in your body?

Article
6/27/2018
Generally our bodies are comprised of approximately 60 to 70 percent water. We need water for digestion, energy and oxygen transport, and temperature regulation. Senior Airman Johanna Magner, 22nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, drinks water on the flightline in front of a KC-135 Stratotanker. With rising temperatures during the summer months people are encouraged to drink more water to stay hydrated. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jenna K. Caldwell)

In general, sports drinks are typically a calculated blend of carbohydrates, electrolytes and water

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Summer Safety

Going the distance runs in the family

Article
6/14/2018
Elisa Zwanenburg (left) and Al Richmond (right) engage in their favorite father-daughter activity, marathon running. (Courtesy photo by James Frank)

For this father/daughter team, running, and the Marine Corps principles that carry them, are in their blood

Recommended Content:

Mental Wellness | Physical Activity | Men's Health

Five tips to improve men's health

Article
6/12/2018
Take Command of your health

Taking preventive steps and making changes to your lifestyle can improve your health

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Men's Health

Breaking down anxiety one fear at a time

Article
6/5/2018
Marine Staff Sgt. Andrew Gales participates in ‘battlefield’ acupuncture, also known as ‘ear acupuncture,’ at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, as a treatment for anxiety related to PTSD. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin Cunningham)

Generalized anxiety, panic disorder, and anxiety related to PTSD are common disorders. In fact, an estimated 31 percent of U.S. adults experience anxiety at some point in their lives; one marine discusses his journey.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Preventive Health | Men's Health | Mental Wellness | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Servicemembers demonstrate grace under fire

Article
5/21/2018
The 99th Medical Group, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada receives the 2018 Heroes of Military Medicine Ambassador Award in Washington, D.C., May 3, 2018, for the life-saving efforts of three of its airmen during the tragic Las Vegas shooting on Oct. 1, 2017. Army Maj. Gen. (retired) Joseph Caravalho (right), president, Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine presented the award to the 99th MG. (MHS photo)

Five honorees celebrated at the 2018 Heroes of Military Medicine Awards Ceremony, including the Airmen for their heroic life-saving efforts during the tragic Las Vegas shooting on Oct. 1, 2017.

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health

Getting tested for STIs is an 'important part of sexual health'

Article
4/26/2018
Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Robert Hall studies a blood sample with a microscope at Naval Branch Health Clinic Kings Bay’s laboratory. Blood tests and pap smears are commonly used ways to diagnose sexually transmitted infections. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel)

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are two of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the United States. Taking preventive steps, like getting tested and practicing safe sex, can help reduce risk of infection or spreading the infection to others.

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Men's Health | Women's Health

Ready, set, focus: Finding calm in a storm through the power of breathing

Article
4/23/2018
Airmen and Soldiers practice breathing and relaxation during their off duty time in a deployed location. Stress can take its toll on your mental and physical health, including your heart health, but there are breathing techniques to buffer yourself from it. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Lance Cheung)

‘Mindful minutes’ and deep breathing help on the job, airmen say

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Mental Wellness | Health Readiness

Deep vein thrombosis: What you need to know

Article
4/9/2018
Jamia Bailey (center) with her parents, James and Pia, after she underwent a procedure in December at Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii, to help prevent deep vein thrombosis from recurring. DVT is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep inside the body. (Courtesy photo)

Everyone’s potentially at risk, vascular surgeon says

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Preventive Health | Heart Health | Physical Activity

Small changes, big results: Healthy lifestyle choices can make a difference for heart health

Article
4/6/2018
Dr. Jonathan Woodson, director of the Institute for Health System Innovation & Policy at Boston University, provides insight on the importance of heart health. From 2010 to 2016, Woodson served as the assistant secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. He is also a brigadier general in the United States Army Reserve. (Photo courtesy of Boston University)

Risk for heart disease, the number one killer of Americans every year, can be decreased through healthy lifestyle and nutrition choices

Recommended Content:

Heart Health | Nutrition | Physical Activity

Eat an apple a day, but don't keep the dentist away

Article
3/27/2018
A child eats an apple during a Trunk-or-Treat event, which featured a healthy snack station as an alternative to candy, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jimmie D. Pike)

Good oral health takes more than brushing teeth and flossing – it also requires proper nutrition

Recommended Content:

Deployment Health | Health Readiness | Nutrition | Preventive Health

Fuel your body during National Nutrition Month

Article
3/16/2018
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than one-third of adults in the U.S. are obese and obesity-related conditions are one of the leading causes of preventable deaths. Eating healthy can prevent the onset of chronic diseases, reduce inflammation and improve physical recovery time from wounds. (U.S. Air Force illustration by Airman 1st Class Destinee Sweeney)

More than one-third of adults in the U.S. are obese and obesity-related conditions are one of the leading causes of preventable deaths

Recommended Content:

Operation Live Well | Nutrition

Traumatic Brain Injury and the Art of Paddling

Article
3/7/2018
Collins enjoys stand-up paddle boarding for how it helps him with TBI. His service dog, Charlie, likes it too. (Courtesy Photo by U.S. Army Special Operations veteran Josh Collins)

A U.S. Army veteran’s recipe for embracing life after several TBIs

Recommended Content:

Mental Wellness | Hearing Loss | Men's Health | Physical Activity | Physical Disability | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder | Traumatic Brain Injury | Vision Loss

New DoD educational podcast series promotes better health

Article
3/5/2018
The Defense Health Agency’s instructional podcasts highlight health technology and offer tips, tools and techniques to help improve the lives of those in the military community.

The instructional podcasts highlight health technology and offer tips, tools and techniques to help improve the lives of those in the military community

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Sleep | Mental Wellness

Pediatric care in the military rated 'excellent' but can improve

Article
2/27/2018
Experts say pediatric care within the Military Health System is excellent as they strive to improve and provide top-quality care for military children. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel)

Experts say pediatric care within the Military Health System is excellent as they strive to improve and provide top-quality care for military children

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Health Readiness | Preventive Health | Military Health System Review Report
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 10

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing: Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.