When talking about investing terms, diversifying your portfolio means to spread your investment money among several different types of investments (stocks, bonds, cash, etc.) in the interest of moderating risk that one investment type will perform poorly. It is meant to help protect your investment in the instance something unexpected comes up.
In exercise terms, diversifying your workout portfolio means to mix up your workout routine/exercises to reduce the risk of overuse injury. Most injuries are from improper movements/repetitive misuse over time. These repetitive stress injuries account for more than 3 million cases in the US per year1 and account for 50% of athletic injures that physicians treat2. For example, if you have poor squatting habits and you perform a workout that requires 200 squats at a fast tempo, you are most likely going to get injured due to improper form x 200 repetitions. When the musculoskeletal system bears weight abnormally with fast movements and high load, the risk of injury is high.
It is important to have a qualified professional analyze your movement prior to starting a workout routine. The more vigorous the workout routine, the more important a movement analysis is. At Sports Chiropractic, we are able identify poor/improper movement patters and come up with a course of action to help you correct the movement. We also give suggestions of alternate forms of exercise that will give you the same benefit while reducing the risk of injury.
Here is another example we see in our office. When you know that your shoulder hurts with overhead positioning, you should diversify by doing exercises or sports that avoid overhead movements until the pain goes away. At the same time, you should also look into the mechanical/neurological reason for the pain and work to correct it. This would be a good way to keep you active and reduce the risk of accumulating trauma, which can lead to a more catastrophic injury.
Movement neurologically blocks pain, releases endorphins3 and pumps the lymphatic system, helping to clear the area of swelling. These are just a few of the reasons as to why it is important to stay active even when hurt. It is also important to not feel broken which is detrimental to our psychological state. We want to move the injured area safely within its limits, but not exceed its capacity and cause further damage.
So when we say diversify your workout portfolio, hopefully you now have the concept down and can help use this to guide you through your rehabilitation.