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  • Writer's pictureNikki Parker

Injury Prevention in the Technical Age

With many different platforms showcasing topics from exercise tips, marathon training programmes to macro-counting, it’s no wonder many shy away from delving into the world of fitness.

“I don’t know what to do”. “I might get injured”. “Where I do look for exercise information?”

Let’s delve into that last question of a little further.

Trail runners catching the sunrise over Table Mountain.
Trail runners catching the early sunrise on Table Mountain, Cape Town. Photo: ©Nikki Parker

With the wonder of the internet at our fingertips with the touch of a button or a voice note to Siri, we suddenly have access to a wealth of information. Unfortunately, not always suitable. The first port of call when hunting for information for most is the internet. Whether it be social media for tips from friends, exercise-celebrities or up-and-coming wellness instructors.

Having worked in the health industry just shy of 20 years, I can say these are the times I try not to cringe out loud. I have seen so many cases where someone has given the incorrect advice which has resulted in the person getting injured and set back from their training programme. Here is a short list of tips to prevent injury as you start up again or perhaps push yourself past your current limits.


  1. If you are starting an exercise regime and you have existing health conditions or you have pre-existing conditions and have been idle for a prolonged period of time, your first port of call should be your family physician. A full medical check-up will be done to ensure that you can begin exercising in a safe, controlled manner.

  2. Start slowly. Although enthusiasm is applauded, starting an exercise programme with no rest days is a recipe for disaster. Learn to listen to your body. It will remind you to have a break, that you’re doing too much. If you are feeling unwell, this is a sign that the body needs to rest.

  3. Work towards a manageable goal. After running the first full marathon distance, Greek soldier, Pheidippides, collapsed and died. Discuss with an appropriate health professional an optimal goal and training plan to get you safely there.

  4. Divide your weekly programme into training days, cross-training days and rest. Should your goal be a marathon, remember to include strength training of the entire body, not spot training specific areas.

  5. Eat wholesome meals. Try to obtain an optimum nutrition without eliminating essential elements. Speak to a nutrition specialist to formulate an eating plan that suits you and your goal. Many can overeat when training as they may not be getting the correct nutrition their body needs.

  6. Sleep well. A well-rested body and mind is essential for injury prevention. Our bodies regenerate while we are asleep.

  7. Listen to any signs of discomfort in your body. In some sports, people talk of the “pain cave”. Understand the difference of discomfort in pushing your limits versus actual joint/muscular pain. Visit your health professional (E.g. Physiotherapist) should you experience the latter. An assessment and treatment can be a short interval in your training if dealt with early.

  8. Use technology to motivate you in your training. Whether it is a smart GPS watch, bike computer or a GPS-tracking app on your phone, technology adds a new dimension in speed tracking, heart rate analysis, route mapping and through social fitness apps, a bit of “healthy” competition.

Have a question regarding your injury or pain? Pop a message in the 'Contact' box or alternatively book an appointment to discuss and have that problem/pain finally seen to.

Take care!


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