Bone & joint health Fitness Student Health Wellness

Rest! And other tips for getting active without injury

Woman resting after outdoor activityThe sun is (hopefully!) shining, the temperature is (hopefully) climbing, and there’s more opportunity to get moving. We all tend to be more active in the summer months.

Here are a few considerations to reduce your risk of injury:

Too much of a good thing, is NOT good

  • Everyone needs a down day in their schedule where you still move and be active, but at a lower level. For instance, runners should not be running daily. It puts too much stress on bones and joints, and can contribute to muscle overuse. A day where you walk, swim or take a yoga class instead of run is an essential part of any exercise program.

Mix up your activity

  • By doing a variety of activities, our bodies use a variety of muscles and movements and in a variety of ways. Try mixing things up: running, cycling, swimming or playing ball hockey all use different muscles. These are all great activities to keep us healthy, and a mix of challenges is always the best for us.

Consider your surface

  • Runners should always be aware of their surface for running. Sidewalks are concrete and therefore very hard and unforgiving and are hard on joints and muscles. Pavement is a little softer; grass is even better (but uneven, which is another type of challenge!)
  • Many tracks are available specifically for running or walking but they tend to be banked on the corners (sloped so that the outside edge of the track is higher on a curve), and when running on a track, you must alternate directions of running to compensate for this banking.  If you always run in the same direction, one foot is on an angle and higher than the other, so it will overstress the joints and muscles of your foot and ankle.)

About the author

Jennifer Toland

Jennifer Toland

Jennifer Toland is a physiotherapist with extensive knowledge and experience in orthopaedic issues and specialized training in vestibular rehabilitation therapy.

Have a question about this post? Get in touch.


  • Running on sand can be as stressful, to the lower legs, ankles, and feet as concrete due to the
    stress put on the tendons, ligaments, and muscles by loose sand. Excessive running up and down hill should be avoided, as well.

  • Thank you CanadianKyosa for these additional tips! Running isn’t my fave way of getting active, but if I run, it’s on the forest trails at my cottage (Watch out for tree roots!) I am crazy for mountain biking! Easier on the joints. What’s your activity of choice?