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What Injuries Can Occur During Aerobics?

If you are careful about warming up, wear decent shoes, and donít try to impress classmates with your athletic prowess, injuries from aerobics are unlikely.

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Most injuries come from either failing to warm up properly, working out barefoot (once trendy, but now we know better), or overextending oneself in a misguided effort to get fit faster than is reasonable.

If you always warm up properly but still experience pain or discomfort in your feet, legs, back or neck, you should speak with your instructor.

It may be that you need to back off in intensity, or that you’re performing some of the exercises incorrectly, causing strain in the various parts of your body that are being wronged.

Everyone has weak places in the body, especially people over the age of thirty, and aerobics may remind you of those old football or ballet injuries. Cartilage may crackle, tendons may grow tender as injuries from your past are reawakened. If you have pain in your feet, knees or hips, check your shoes with an expert athletic-shoe salesperson. If you don’t discover something in your shoes that can remedy the situation, you may need to see your doctor for an evaluation: osteoarthritis causes joint pain, as does rheumatoid arthritis. Old, forgotten injuries may become sites of irritation. You may have shin splints or nerve pain. Or you may just have some sensitivity that doesn’t tolerate aerobics well: some joints do not take kindly to being bounced upon day after day.

If you are injured during aerobics, you may decide to switch to water aerobics either until the injury is healed or for good. It is extremely difficult to get hurt in water aerobics, but you can derive all the benefits of aerobics without bearing weight.

The most common aerobics injuries are related to muscle strains. If you feel like you’ve pulled a muscle, use RICE to speed you on your way to recovery. First, give the injury rest: don’t exercise it the next day. Use ice to reduce the swelling. Reducing the swelling also tends to alleviate pain. Ice the area for ten to fifteen minutes every couple of hours for the next 24-48 hours. Compression is also useful: it supports the affected joint and eases pain. Elevation is the final part of the RICE acronym: put your foot or leg up whenever you can, with a pillow underneath if that’s more comfortable.

If you overdo it and the pain doesn’t go away in a few days, get thee to a doctor. Don’t expect your instructor to diagnose your injury: by law, aerobics instructors aren’t allowed to do more than give the most basic advice (usually RICE). Most of the time, you’ll have strained a muscle or overworked a joint, but it is possible to create conditions that your body will react to by developing a chronic condition that can cause you a lot of trouble if it isn’t caught right away. Nip injuries in the bud, give the acute ones plenty of recovery time, and take the stubborn ones to your doctor for advice.

Continue reading the next aerobics article on cardiovascular exercise

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