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7 Ways to Protect Yourself from Injuries While Staying Active

7 Ways to Protect Yourself from Injuries While Staying Active

Whether you’re running, swimming, spinning, dancing or playing a team sport, you’re getting out there and staying active — that’s great. What’s not so great is the possibility that your good intentions and steady training could be derailed by an injury. And, while some injuries are simply caused by bad luck or bad timing, others can be prevented if you know how. Here are seven ways to keep yourself healthy in more ways than one. 

Ask an Athlete: An Interview with U.S. Gymnast Jake Dalton

Ask an Athlete: An Interview with U.S. Gymnast Jake Dalton

Not a fan of setbacks? U.S. Olympic Gymnast and four-time World medalist Jake Dalton experienced his fair share of them. After withdrawing from the 2015 P&G Championships due to a shoulder tear, Jake plans to come out on top with a vengeance. He hasn't stopped exercising, either. Jake announced that he'll be sharing his workout routines on PumpUp (@jdalton775) over the next few weeks. PumpUp chatted with Jake about training, motivation, and maintaining a positive mindset while on the road to recovery.

3 ways to stay positive after a sports injury

3 ways to stay positive after a sports injury

Self-loathing and denial won’t make an injury go away. If anything, psychological stressors can make recovery more difficult. That's why it's so important to stay positive after a sports injury. When I developed a repetitive stress injury called tarsal tunnel syndrome— similar to carpal tunnel, but on the inner side of my lower leg—I thought that I might never run a competitive long-distance race again.

Transform a devastating injury into an amazing victory with these 5 tips

Transform a devastating injury into an amazing victory with these 5 tips


When life throws us a curveball, bouncing back is a lot easier said than done. Especially after experiencing a devastating injury, getting back on track may seem like an uphill task. However, as esteemed author Henry Cloud puts it, take everything one grain at a time. A severe injury is certainly something people don’t expect, but when the unfortunate happens, you'll be able to transform a devastating injury into an amazing victory by taking small steps to assist you in your journey to recovery.

Transform a devastating injury into a victory with these simple steps // PumpUp Blog

1. Make a decision

Devastating injuries that rob you of your ability to function can be very distressing. You'll be naturally inclined to feel sad. The thought of getting better may seem too arduous a task to accomplish.

Emerging victorious from any injury first requires a decision from you. Once you decide that you would like to change an upsetting situation into one that you triumph over, it alters the way you see things. What may be a terrible situation to others now becomes an opportunity for you to showcase your inner strength.

As with many instances in life, it’s always an issue of mind over matter. While this ‘matter’ is a serious one, the moment you decide to turn things around in your favour will set you on a course of positivity and success.

2. Surround yourself with positivity

The truth is, while most injuries may be physical, the state of your emotions and mental health will greatly affect your recovery. As you focus on getting better, it is vital that you remain positive. Research has shown that surrounding yourself with positivity immensely helps with the recovery process. Positive people, pieces of writing, music, or even items can evoke optimistic thoughts.

Look around. What are some things that encourage you?

3. Go back to nature

During the recovery process, the stress of progress and external pressure may feel like a deeply entrenched anchor that’s holding you back.

However, nature has a way of working things out. Be it the sense of freedom you feel when grass tickles your feet, or the serenity that washes over you as you listen to gentle waves, elements of nature seem to take us to a place of peace.

Some hospitals have moved into creating garden spaces where patients can find tranquillity amidst the hustle and bustle of life. Research has also proven that even photos of nature aid in lowering anxiety, thus assisting in recovery.

Whether it’s  a potted plant or a mini aquarium, anything with a touch of nature can give your recovery a slight steer towards victory.

4. Practice mindfulness

Going back to the root of it all, the state of your mind determines the outcome of your situation. In this fast-paced world, it’s so easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of responsibilities and expectations. As a result, you may find yourself increasingly dissatisfied with things – your injury, the negligible speed of your recovery and lost opportunities.

However, when the unfortunate happens, the age old (albeit cliché) saying of “When life throws you lemons, make lemonade” speaks insurmountable truth. Positivity and mindfulness – or being in control of your thoughts– requires practice.

Introspection may be the pivotal act that changes your gloomy outlook into one that shines hope. Be it through reading, writing, music, or meditation, consider what helps you calm your mind.

5. Be an inspiration

One way to turn a bad situation into a positive one is to help others.  It naturally puts you on a path of thinking that guides you towards successful recovery in both the mind and the body. Helping others to see that they can emerge victorious can, in turn, help you as well.

At the end of the day, your biggest hurdle is yourself. The strength of one’s thoughts is frequently overlooked and underestimated. However, once you acknowledge that you can do just about anything, no matter how tough it is, a natural push sets in.

Be the inspiration, because you are an inspiration!

About the Author

Marco Bendinelli is an attorney and the founding shareholder at Bendinelli Law Firm. He is devoted to representing individuals who suffered injury or death caused by the negligence or wrongful conducts of others. He also finds time to motivate and inspire through his writings.

How getting a stress fracture changed my life for the better

How getting a stress fracture changed my life for the better


I suffered from my very first stress fracture at the beginning of 2015. I was pretty upset by it at first and was very worried that this injury would derail my quest for a healthy and active lifestyle that I embarked upon at the start of 2015. It definitely did not derail my quest for health, but it ended up being a really good thing. Here's why: I was always the cardio queen. Cardio was my go-to for being physically active. In the fall of 2014, I was even doing two-a-days where I would get up and run in the morning and then go to Zumba at night. Or I would go to a spin class and then go to Zumba. Or I would run to my gym (about two miles away) and then go to Zumba. You get the picture. Yet, I would hop on that scale, and nothing would really happen. I wasn't really losing weight, but I kept up the cardio. Then in October and November, I traveled a lot for work and gained about 15 pounds because I was having a high time sampling local cuisine and not working out. In the middle of December, I really started to revaluate my life and decided that enough was enough. I was going to get fit in 2015.

If you follow my blog, you know that I started off with a different approach by really trying to address the mental issues behind my unhealthy habits. However, I was doing the same thing in the realm of physical activity- cardio. I took a Body Pump class where we lifted very light weights (2.5 to 5 lbs) for 50 minutes, but I still shied away from weight training. I wasn't comfortable doing it, so I didn't. Then I was diagnosed with the stress fracture. I had to wear a boot and my doctor said no to any high-impact cardio. WHAT? What was I going to do? He did say that I could weight train while healing and ride the stationary bike.

I started off doing low-impact cardio (again, too scared to go outside of my comfort zone), and then I realized that I really enjoyed Body Pump and lifting weights during the class. I wandered up to the weight room with my workout pal, Watts. At first we would eyeball machines and pick one that was empty and looked do-able. We'd randomly choose the amount of weight and do three sets of 15-20 reps. You know, the standard. After doing this a couple of times, I wanted more.

I started to research about weight training and settled on a beginner plan that I thought was both reasonable and effective. I ran it by Watts, and she seemed pretty into it too. I've stuck to that plan pretty consistently since the early part of March (about two months to date) and increase my weight amounts by 5 lbs as the reps get easier over the weeks (roughly an increase once every two weeks).  I practice a split body plan Alternating ABA on week one and BAB on week two. I lift heavier now than I ever would have considered being able to do. I do squats on the squat rack, bench press, bent-over rows, deadlifts, lat-pulldowns (working up to a chin up someday), shoulder overhead presses, and am building in tricep pulldowns, calf raises, and bicep curls. I try to do ab work at least three times a week too. It seems to work. I feel stronger and definitely more confident.

How getting a stress fracture changed my life for the better

I was once the girl who would max out with a 12 lb dumbbell and was too intimidated by the weight room at the gym. Now, I sashay my way in there and feel strong after my workout. I'm really proud of how far I've come. Lifting weights has really changed my perspective. More than ever, I want to be fit, not just less fat. And I'm getting there, little by little. I stay off the scale for the most part and concentrate on how my body is positively changing. I feel unstoppable, even on days that I don't want to work out. And for that, I guess I owe my stress fracture a thank you.

This is a post by PumpUp member @k_c, a vivacious blogger based in Central Arkansas. Learn more about her through her blog:

How this PumpUp member defied the odds of her hip injury


This PumpUp member defied the odds of her hip injury

If there’s anybody who’s been able to demonstrate a tremendous amount of self-love throughout the course of her lifetime, it would have to be PumpUp member surgicallyrepaired. She’s recovering from major hip surgery & 7 years of hip problems and has been making progress with incorporating running into her routine. “Even a year ago, much less seven years, I would not have been able to believe that I would be able to run again. I was 14 when I was diagnosed with my hip condition, now I’m 22 and defying all expectations. And I’m damn proud.” Keep her pumped! 

Nobody kicks more butt than April and we mean it. Learn all the reasons why- PumpUp Success Stories


PumpUp has its very own #liftqueen and her name is April (@uneekapril is her PumpUp superhero alias, of course). She’s happy, healthy, extremely body positive, and lifts heavy. “I do cardio because I have to, but I lift because I love to,” she confessed. Learn about her incredible journey to recovery from an extreme leg injury and her perfect advice for those looking to lead healthier lifestyles in 2015.

When April broke her tibia, fractured her fibula, and dislocated her ankle in 2009, this event proved to be one the most challenging mental tests of her entire life. “I was completely dependent on others for many months,” she lamented. “I was incapable of doing things on my own, going places, and needed help out of the bathtub every morning.” The feeling of hopelessness consumed her, as acute pain accompanied her every action during the healing process (both during and after physical therapy). “I could feel depression overcoming me,” she recounted. “I wanted to walk again. Be strong again, Hike again. After a year of wearing a cast, then a boot, on crutches, physical therapy, then home exercises, I started to improve.” After the pain began to subside, April was determined to get her lost muscle, flexibility, balance, and mobility back. In the process, she became better and stronger than ever before, both mentally and physically. “I’m stronger than I’ve been my whole life,” she admitted. “Me and my titanium-filled transformer leg.”


Although high school represented a turbulent point in April’s life, she managed to move above and beyond her personal obstacles through the help of exercise and tons of encouragement. “I used to be a size 12,” she further explained. “I felt fat and depressed and wore baggy clothes to cover up myself.” These insecurities slowly melted away when April made the decision to be healthy in college, regardless of her size. She slowly began to incorporate more physical activity into her schedule by lifting weights and hiking. “I LOVED the feeling that lifting gave me, not to mention the tight muscles that I developed,” she stressed. When April began to lift weights with her friend Jeremy in 2002, he taught her everything she needed to know about proper technique and form. This elevated her passion for healthy active living to the next level. “I’m very fortunate to have had some wonderfully knowledgeable people to grace my life…they helped change my life,” she admitted.

Nobody ever messes around with April’s body-positive image. “I got down to a size 8 and I decided that I was healthy and therefore happy,” she affirmed. “I didn’t care what people thought about my big legs or my big butt. If they didn’t like my shape, they could eff-off. I’m proud of my shape and my strength…not to mention my overall health.” She pays attention to the queues that her body gives her and strives to eat healthy, whole foods. This helps her to keep everything in moderation: April knows when to load up on carbs and when to increase her protein intake. For this reason, she encourages others to do intensive research about what is best for their own bodies. “Everyone is different, so find what works for you,” she counselled.


April is a strong advocate of immersing oneself in a community of healthy and like-minded individuals (like PumpUp!). “Find a mentor that you trust and stay away from unhealthy people,” she emphasized. “I have found that they can be like cancer—they seem to poison people around them. Find someone you want to ‘be’ and emulate them.” She also encourages others to hold themselves accountable and to eliminate excuses—patience is the greatest virtue for April. “Change takes time, so try hard to stay dedicated,” she explained. “Your body is capable of amazing things: push it! Training is all mental—push yourself through those mental walls and you will surprise yourself!”


With each and every post, April strives to motivate at least one person on PumpUp to stay on track. She’s been a member of the app since July 2014, after @winnoble convinced her that PumpUp would be a great community for her. His intuition was right in every single way. “I hoped to meet some neat people with similar goals and looked for a community where motivation and encouragement flowed effortlessly in both directions,” she elaborated. “I can say that I’ve definitely found that..and more! I’ve met the most amazing people on here who have truly become my friends: @bellsetters, @mattgmi, @humbleman, and @jerrydonwheeler, just to name a few.” April actually met up with @jerrydonwheeler and trained with him on her birthday! “It was an honour,” she professed. “I hope there are many more PumpUp members who happen to pass by Little Rock, AR and want to lift with me!”


Biggest Motivation

“My PumpUp family definitely motives me.  I absolutely motivate myself!  My ultimate goal (although not sure it’s attainable) is to have a body like P!NK.  Saw her in concert, saw how strong she was, and decided I wanted that.”

Favourite eats

“I drink water with lemon, lime or both everyday throughout my workday.  My favorite treat is pomegranates, which I have to make myself earn. “

Motivational Mantra

“Just because I’m a girl, doesn’t mean I have to act like one” – Me

 “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” - Emerson


Fun Fact About April

“I am a tomboy completely.  I’m tough, I hate shopping, I don’t paint my nails, I won’t wear a dress, and I’d rather be cutting wood with my dad than being pampered at a spa.”

The Most Important 5 Minutes of Your Workout

warmupWhen you show up to the gym, what’s the first thing you do? Do you start with a few crunches? Pick up some dumbbells? Quickly scan for your crush and do what they’re doing? It’s really easy to forget the most important area of your workout - the warm-up!

Every good workout starts with a solid warm up. Why is warming up before you work out so important? Here are a few key reasons:

  1. Protects you against injury. Your warm-up loosens up your muscles and makes them ready for more strenuous work so they don’t snap under pressure.
  2. Improves your flexibility. It’s not hard to believe that moving your muscles makes them more flexible.
  3. Increases your heart rate. Remember, your heart is your most important muscle. It’s important to get it pumping before it needs to do hard work.
  4. Prepares your muscles for power. You got it - warming up your muscles gets them closer to the optimal temperature for performance.
  5. Decreases post-workout muscle pain. Warming up your body gives your muscles the extra room they need to rebuild after a workout and improves your blood flow to transfer the necessary nutrients to them.

There are two different kinds of warmups that are important to know.

General Warm-Up

Do 5 to 10 minutes of cardio of your choice (treadmill, bike, etc.). A very basic approach, but also very effective! End with a good stretch and make sure to keep your heart rate up.

Sport-Specific Warm-Up

Do 5 to 10 mintes of a warm-up that resembles the sport you’re playing. For example, if you’re a volleyball player, low intensity jumps and overhead shoulder stretches would be a great warm-up for the perfect spike.

Let’s be honest - all of this can be hard to remember… but don’t worry! When you use PumpUp to build a workout, you get an effective warm-up automatically targeted at the muscle groups you’ll be working. So remember, stay warm and pump up!