Slacking on Your New Year’s Fitness & Exercise Resolutions? Don’t.

7039144_sJanuary has come and gone! You made your promises to get to the gym, to go on walks, to take the stairs. But now it’s March and you’re starting to slack in your resolve. It might be okay to skip that two-hour dance marathon you had planned to participate in, but now is not the time to give up on your exercise goals. Staying fit and exercising regularly bring innumerable benefits, by not only aiding your physical health, but also reducing your risk for injuries, like sports hernias.

A sports hernia occurs when muscle or tissue in the lower abdomen tears, and can be hard to diagnose. Common symptoms include a visible weakness in the groin area, sharp pain, and chronic aches that return with activity. Sports hernia injuries can sideline athletes for months and often require surgery and physical therapy to recover. Without treatment, sports hernias can lead to chronic pain and stop athletes from competing altogether. Regular exercise can help minimize the chance of a sports hernia injury occurring. 

Building a strong, balanced core is one of the keys to reducing your risk for sports hernia injury. The core is made up of the muscles throughout the trunk area, and it’s imperative to keep each section in balance. Many sports hernias occur as a result of one set of muscles being stronger than another, creating dangerous strain. There are a few efficient exercises that can be done to strengthen the core and reduce that strain. Remember to stretch before beginning any exercise.

Sports hernias usually occur during a sudden twisting movement or a quick change in direction. So, the exercises that will most effectively prevent injuries are those that strengthen the muscles used in those types of movement. Doing crunches and planks will help to build up abdomen strength. Lunges and side lunges develop the groin and lower abdomen muscles. Regular stretching is also crucial, as it increases muscle flexibility.

Many sports include repetitive motion that can wear down muscle resistance over time. While it can be tempting to resolve to go out and run three miles each morning, it won’t end up doing you any favors. Sports hernias are less about a lack of endurance and more about muscle adaptability. Often, injuries occur to dancers, runners, hockey players, and others whose activities require repetitive motion. If you participate in these activities, your chances of sustaining a sports hernia are higher.

Regular exercise is not only critical to staying in shape, but can also significantly reduce your risk of sustaining a sports hernia injury. This year, keep your resolution to get fit, and realize that sticking with it will bring many more benefits than you expect – all year long.

Did you know, the effectiveness of preseason training has been proved to decrease injuries in professional hockey players.  For more information please review: