Regular indoor football, sport and other activity for working adults in Singapore

Injuries: 4 September 2009

Posted by rajiv on 4 September 2009

The stated aim of FIOFAFI is to provide opportunities to participate regularly in sport and other physical activities, in particular, indoor football

As has been cited before, the American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association recommend that “all healthy adults ages 18 to 65 years need moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity for at least 30 minutes on five days each week or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity for at least 20 minutes on three days each week”.

On the other hand, we do need rest.   Sport can become an addiction.  From one website:

Individuals with an exercise addiction are characterized by their compulsive exercise behaviors, an overinvolvement in exercise, and the presence of an activity disorder—meaning they exercise at a duration, intensity, and frequency beyond that required for sport.

Also, “… addicts may be driven to work out despite exhaustion or injury. Intense exercise addiction can lead to permanent physical damage, as the body is not allowed to recuperate between workouts.”

Our routine indoor football sessions can be quite intense, placing a strain on knees, ankles, hips and lower backs.  Knee and ankle injuries may be more common, but hip and back injuries can be more serious.

Varying the sport or activity can help – if the sport or activity involves other muscles and joints, it allows those that bear the brunt of playing football to rest, while working other muscles and joints that may not be used as much.  The blog can be used to organize other sport and physical activity as well.

Most of us play other football or sport or partake of other forms of exercise apart from FIOFAFI sessions/games.

I think 3 or 4 football games or sessions a week is about the most any adult should play on a regular basis, less for those of us who are older.  For me, I now avoid playing more than twice in a week.  For those of us who are older, it is worth remembering:

… once you hit 40 a man’s body starts producing less testosterone. …. To stave off decreasing muscle mass (once you hit 50 it declines 15 percent per decade), prevent back injuries and protect against heart disease, incorporate strength training into your work out.

There appear to be studies to show that in fact, the above consideration applies to males above 30.

On the other hand, I am not going to impose arbitrary limits on the number of sessions anyone can play.  The priority system is geared towards managing large numbers of participants, and to give as many people the opportunity to play as possible, and is not intended to limit the number of sessions any one participant can play.  We are all adults here, and are capable of deciding for ourselves how often we can play.

It is, however, useful to remember the following quote from a tae-kwon-do master:

Think long term.  ….  Listen to your body and not your mind. I have seen too many adults come into class and their minds say their body is 21. They either stretch too far, or kick too hard, or try to achieve what used to be easy.

Warming up and warming down are important.   As we get older, the more time should be spent on warming up and warming down.  I try to start warming up at least one hour before the session.

While the rules and principles we play to are, amongst other things, aimed at reducing the risk of injury arising from bad tackles or overly physical sessions, they can’t militate against strains resulting from lack of warming up or over-exertion.  It helps to pace yourself over the course of the session, rather than start of at an intense pace, and then struggle to keep up towards the end.

Also, choose equipment that reduces the risk of injury.

If you are injured, allow yourself time to recover, and see a doctor or physiotherapist if you need to.  Age also slows down recovery from injury. The older you are, the longer it takes your body to recover.

If you are still recovering, and would like to resume playing in a forthcoming session, put yourself down as contingent unless you have fully recovered.  Confirming for a session, and then withdrawing because you haven’t fully recovered, gives me more work. 🙂

Likewise, if having confirmed for a forthcoming session, you pick up an injury before the session which might affect your participation, withdraw or switch to contingent as soon as possible.  It has not been uncommon for participants to confirm for a Sunday or mid-week session the week before, and then later withdraw as a result of playing with another team over the weekend.

Injury, and recurrence of injury, are best avoided.  Not only do they diminish or extinguish the enjoyment you get from playing, it also means you are not able to participate for the period of the injury.   Rushing back from injury risks causing a recurrence, thereby prolonging the period of non-participation.  The aim is sustainability.

For those of you who play both with other teams and in FIOFAFI sessions, please answer the following question:


4 Responses to “Injuries: 4 September 2009”

  1. […] Injuries: 4 September 2009 […]

  2. […] reminder not to over-extend yourself, thereby increasing the risk of injury.  Remember to get sufficient rest between each […]

  3. […] Lots of us tied up at work, injured, away, or making other plans, or just worn out from over-extending ourselves. […]

  4. […] where those who don’t have much experience of playing football, or who are returning from injury, can just have a kick […]

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