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Workout-related injuries don’t stop happening just because you’re deployed

Servicemembers work-out at the Blatchford-Preston Complex Gym, Feb. 27, 2015, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Workout partners can help you stay committed to fitness while ensuring you are safely utilizing workout techniques. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Mariko Frazee)

Servicemembers work-out at the Blatchford-Preston Complex Gym, Feb. 27, 2015, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Workout partners can help you stay committed to fitness while ensuring you are safely utilizing workout techniques. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Mariko Frazee)

To avoid an overuse injury while working out, pace yourself and follow proper training techniques. Exercise safety is important to avoid injury and maintain good health.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Mariko Frazee)

To avoid an overuse injury while working out, pace yourself and follow proper training techniques. Exercise safety is important to avoid injury and maintain good health. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Mariko Frazee)

Servicemembers work-out at the Blatchford-Preston Complex Gym, Feb. 27, 2015, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Workout partners can help you stay committed to fitness while ensuring you are safely utilizing workout techniques. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Mariko Frazee)

Servicemembers work-out at the Blatchford-Preston Complex Gym, Feb. 27, 2015, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Workout partners can help you stay committed to fitness while ensuring you are safely utilizing workout techniques. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Mariko Frazee)

AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar -- Most deployed servicemembers turn to working out during their free time to improve their physical fitness, but to prevent workout-related injuries safety remains the first priority to keep our warriors fit to fight.

The prevailing advice on exercise safety includes: pacing workouts, getting advice from experts and being smart about supplements.

“Many deployed servicemembers come here with a goal to get fit and get in shape,” said Capt. Gabriela Daniels, 379th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron physical therapist element chief. “Unfortunately they go too hard in the beginning when they might not be in the best cardiovascular shape, or have the muscular strength or proper technique. They push too hard and their body may not be ready.”

One way deployed servicemembers can prevent injuries is by properly progressing in their workout routine. If they are unsure of what type of progression schedule you should follow, personal trainers are available to help at the base fitness centers.

“Ask questions, contact our providers or trainers here on base,” Daniels said. “Do the proper research on proper technique, properly progress in your routine whether its cardio or weight-lifting.”

According to Daniels, the most common cause of workout-related injuries is overuse of muscles generally caused by doing too much, too soon and too fast.

If a deployed servicemember does end up injuring themselves by working out too heavily, they can receive treatment from the 379th Expeditionary Medical Group Primary Care Clinic where there are physical therapists on staff as well as an orthopedic department.
Supplement safety is also important when incorporating enhancements in diets.

“It's important that servicemembers are knowledgeable about what they’re taking and how much,” Daniels said. “Your fluid intake matters for supplement intake as well, so people should ensure they are hydrating well. It's important you are safe when taking supplements.”

For more information on supplement safety, servicemembers should contact the 379th EMDG or attend a supplement safety class held here on base. The next supplement safety class will be offered March 5 from 7 a.m. until 8 a.m. at the base theater.