Reducing the intensity of your workouts during periods of stress can help to prevent injury

Everyone knows that exercising and moving your body is great for stress reduction.

But did you realize that intensely working out, or laboring (like all that deep, heavy snow we’ve been shoveling this week) during periods of significant stress, can actually make you more susceptible to injury?

Wow! Mind blown!

There was a study done several years ago, when a college football team was becoming overwhelmed with injuries. The assistant director of strength and conditioning, J. Bryan Mann, did some investigation, first looking into the physical aspects of each injured player.

Physically, there was nothing tying the injuries together—they ran every test they could possibly think of and found nothing.

Mann then looked into the timing of the injuries over the course of a year, and realized that other than the obvious injuries that came out of “hell-week,” the majority of players were being injured during exam weeks, such as finals and midterms.

If you haven’t yet read my article on the various causes of pain, you can check it out here.

Stress and pain:

There is only so much stress a body can handle before it starts getting into trouble.

In Mann’s words “Stress is a syndrome, and all stress affects the body the same way…So it doesn’t matter if the stress is coming from practice, from strength training, from conditioning, from academics, from relationships, from monetary [issues], from any of those means. It's going to affect the body in the same way. And we’ve only got so much resistance that we can give before something starts to break.”

So if you find yourself under extreme amounts of stress, take is easy for a bit. Be more mindful of your tasks and slow down your workouts, in order to protect your body from injury.

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Kristen Stephen's Signature

Who is Kristen Stephen?

Kristen Stephen is a bodyworker, practicing integrative manual therapy, in Nederland, Colorado. Her mission is to help people live lives with less pain and more joy.

Please note, all material on this website is for for educational and informational purposes only, and should not be taken as medical advice.

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