Why You’re Your Own Worst Enemy

Think you are in-tune with your body? Think again. The reality is that most people are their own worst enemies regarding physical well-being.
Every week I see people who start out with good intentions and unnecessarily hurt themselves by falling for common mistakes.

Does this sound like you?

Going too hard too soon: We live in a ‘go hard or go home’ culture. But our bodies prefer it if we build fitness and strength gradually.

Comparing yourself to others: Too many people will start a fitness-related class, which is great, and then worry that they aren’t as fit/ripped/athletic as the person next to them. They may eventually quit the class, a huge shame. It’s important to measure yourself against yourself and not those around you.

Getting advice and treatment from friends: People’s willingness to follow advice from friends who aren’t qualified is bewildering. But every week people hurt themselves following bogus tips like how to ‘crack your back’. Everyone is different – what works for your friend may not work for you. And nobody should ‘crack’ their back or neck, unless they are fond of spinal/stress fractures or plan on increased risk of stroke.

Trying to emulate TV & magazines: Celebrity culture is everywhere, but has no place in our physical health regime. Unfortunately people become deluded into chasing an impossible dream. It’s pointless trying to emulate celebs – best focus on being the best version of yourself, not someone else.

Not listening to advice: Think you can cut corners and get away with it? Take an easy example: we’re told our whole lives that heavy objects must be lifted from the knees, but this doesn’t apply to you, right? Why not take a chance on your back?

Self-diagnosing injuries: Shooting pain in the lower back? It must be sciatica. Can’t walk? You’ve popped a disc. If only actual diagnosis was so simple – but that doesn’t stop legions of people performing their own diagnosis, or even better, using the Internet or an equally unqualified friend to find the source of their pain. The truth is, getting to the cause of underlying pain can be difficult and elusive for trained professionals – so what do you know that they don’t?

Finally, remember that making one or more of these mistakes is not a failure – merely a bump on the road to better physical well-being. Being aware of these basic mistakes and being honest with yourself will keep you on track.

– Kusal Goonewardena, Elite Athlete Sports Physiotherapist & Founder

Categories: AthleteBlog


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