Keynote Presentation: Managing Sports Injuries For Republic of Singapore Air Force Training Command Annual Safety Day

As a fitness enthusiast myself, I know how it feels to be injured or sidelined. The feeling of helplessness and disappointment when you see your friends or colleagues engage in sports while you sit by the side is a super lousy feeling. And having to catch up on both lost time and form when you are back on your feet is none the sweeter.
That’s why I make it a point to keep reminding my clients and workshop participants of the need for good posture, proper lifting techniques and correct breathing.
I’m delighted to be invited to give a keynote presentation on managing sports injuries for the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF AFTC) Training Command Annual Safety Day in July 2015.
The Annual Safety Day is a closed-door event where all servicemen come together to review useful case studies (from the different divisions and units) and re-learn best practices in the industries. As the only civilian among the sea of uniformed officers, it is indeed my honour.

Among the many points I shared, the highlight of my presentation centred among debunking the popular myths surrounding sports injuries. Let me share the top 3 sports injury myths with you.

Sports Injury Myth #1: The More You Sweat, The Better
Many people believe that a good exercise must result in a sweat-soaked singlet and painful muscles the next day. 

Sorry, I beg to differ.
Sweating is inevitable as it is our biological reaction to cool the body temperature. Furthermore, there is no scientific link between the amount of sweat produced and the effectiveness of workout. That’s too arbitrary. 
Instead, let us be rational about exercise and use a better way to gauge its effectiveness. I would strongly recommend you monitor your heart rate instead as it is definitely a more realistic way to measure the intensity of your workout and whether your are overdoing or underdoing it.
Do note that you want to exercise and condition your heart, not overwork it. So exercising within your desired heart rate is optimal for best results.

Sports Injury Myth #2: Fat Can Be Turned Into Muscle
I posed this question to the audience and almost everyone raised their hand. 
“How many of you would like to have abs?”
I would too, if I were you.
We all love abs and wish we can have abs.
Now the good news is we all have abs! But the not-so-good news is our abs are hidden by layers of fat above and that’s why we can’t see them yet.
Interestingly, we can never turn fat into muscle. Exercising and doing sports can burn fat and build muscles. But seriously, burning fat and building muscles are two separate issues. Please do not confuse them.
And hey, you need to know that once you stop exercising, your muscles will only shrink in muscle mass. Your muscles will not turn into fat.

So for those of you who are still wondering what to do, I suggest you put on your sneakers and head out for some form of exercise…to burn fat. So your abs will be greeting you sooner than you know!

Sports Injury Myth #3: Stretching Is The Cure For All Sports Injuries
Stretching is good as it increases flexibility and mobility. I think this is common knowledge.
But there is no link between stretching and injury prevention. This is one of the weirdest sport injury myth I have come across.
Cold stretching can cause problems instead. That means you suddenly stretch your muscles out of the blue. 
What you should do instead is to start with a warmup first. Warmups are designed to increase your blood supply to your muscles. After a 10 minute warmup, then you continue to do your stretching and carry on with your sports or games. This is the proper way to get you fired up for your fitness journey ahead.
It is relatively simple to kickstart a fitness programme. All you have to do is to stay injury free and reap the benefits of exercise – more youthful looks, a better body and increased loads of confidence.
Keep calm and exercise on, my friends :)

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