Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/17/2013 -- A recent analysis of more than 26,000 participants who engaged in a variety of sports found those who engaged in balance and strength training exercises in addition to stretching experienced a reduction in injury risk than those who engaged in only stretching exercises.
Researchers gathered data from randomly assigned participants in various studies, comparing those who completed certain strength training and balance exercises and who did not. The studies then followed the participants over the period of a year to see who became injured and who did not. Overall, the study analyzed approximately 3,500 injuries out of the entire group. Stretching programs showed little to no benefit for averting an injury, but evidence gathered also looked at the effects of balance exercises and strength training. They found a 45 percent lower risk of injury among people who practiced balancing activities, and a 68 percent drop in injury among those who engaged in strength training. Benefits of balance or strengthening exercises seemed to apply to those with overuse injuries or acute sprains and tears.
Though there is a lack of study purporting one particular type of strength training or balance work out over another, the overall message was clear – a well-rounded fitness program includes strength training, cardio, balance and flexibility components.
Another thing noted by experts in the study was that the technique with which an athlete performs an activity - whether it’s running, lifting, or yoga – also has a correlation between how the body adapts and responds to various movements that could cause injury. “Technique is really important. Very basic techniques, like landing,” said Bing Yu from the University of North Carolina. Establishing this technique early on in athletic development is crucial for athletes or beginner exercisers in developing a long-term fitness regimen.
Another thing mentioned was to not overdo any form of activity. Proper rest, nutrition, and form all add up to healthy, injury-free physical lifestyle that will benefit a person throughout their lifetime.
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