(CARLSBAD, CA) – Ouch! You’ve performed this fitness move hundreds of times, but this time, something doesn’t feel right. You feel a twinge at first, then a sharp pain, and slowly you begin to realize that you may have an exercise induced injury.If you’re a newcomer to fitness, then you are particularly at risk for injury, according to experts at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. That’s because your muscles are weak and not used to being stressed. Taking precautions like warming up will help to prevent injury. But, even if you’re in excellent physical condition, injuries can occur due to overuse, improper form, or fluke accidents.The first line of treatment for a soft tissue injury is the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation). Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett offers this tutorial for using the RICE method when you experience a fitness or sports-related injury.
• Rest – Stop your exercise activity immediately and give the injured tissue time to heal. Remember that rest may be the difference between a long and involved recuperation period or just a few days of inactivity. If you’re anxious to resume your workouts, consider some alternate activities while your injury heals. For example, if knee pain prevents you from jogging, ask your doctor about swimming or cycling.
• Ice – At the first yelp of pain, apply ice to the injured area for 10-15 minutes. Try a bag of crushed ice or a pack of frozen vegetables, wrapped in a towel. The cold offers short-term pain relief and minimizes swelling by reducing blood flow to the injured area.
• Compression – Use an ACE bandage to wrap the injured area. If it feels uncomfortably tight, then undo the bandage and re-wrap it.
• Elevation – The general rule of thumb for elevation is to lift the injured area to a level that is higher than your heart. That means if your knee is injured, you should lie on your back with your leg propped up on a few pillows.
If your symptoms persist beyond 48 hours, visit your doctor for a complete examination. Once your body has healed, resist jumping full-throttle into your exercise program right away. Your body needs time to adjust. Ease back into your workout regimen, taking time to warm-up, stretch properly and listen to your body.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,800 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.