Tips to Avoid Injuries and Maintain an Active Lifestyle
As soon as the winter months are behind us, there is nothing as exciting as getting back into the great outdoors. From bike rides and runs, to baseball and softball games, and track and field events, there are numerous activities that your children and you are likely to enjoy through spring and summer.
Whether it is an organized event, a recreational activity or a sport, each carries a certain risk of injury. While minor scrapes, cuts and bruises may be easy to fix, other injuries, such as sprains, broken bones, torn ligaments or concussions can potentially put a damper on the rest of the season. Moreover, after working hard towards a fitness goal or a team sport, a severe physical injury may keep you out of action for extended durations, which can be frustrating. Read on to know how you can avoid injuries and stay fit in the activity-filled months ahead.
Remain Active, Avoid Injury
Getting back to an active lifestyle after a break makes adults and children equally vulnerable to injuries. Here are some common problems that tend to occur during this time:
- Lower extremity injuries, such as shin splints, runner’s knee, ankle sprains, or upper extremity strains, such as rotator cuff, golf elbow or tennis elbow. Depending on the nature of your activity, the strain may be on your muscles, tendons and/or ligaments. You may also develop stress fractures or tendonitis, due to overuse of certain muscles.
- Improper hydration could cause heat-related injuries that usually start with dehydration, but sometimes progress to heat exhaustion or stroke.
- A fall, ball-hit or crash during contact sports could lead to concussions.
There are several ways to keep yourself free of physical stress and strain while pursuing your favorite sports or activities:
- Safety First: In addition to giving your body proper rest, hydration and energy, don’t forget the basic safety rules or gear associated with your activity. From helmets and shin guards, to safety glasses and jackets, ensure that you use all the recommended accessories to protect yourself against potential injuries.
- The 10% Rule: Ease your way into any strenuous physical activity and gradually increase the frequency, duration or intensity by 10% each week. Sudden bursts of high-energy workouts or activities could strain your body and often lead to injuries early on during the season.
- Warm up and Cool down. Don’t skimp on a proper warm up and cool down routine. These precious ten minutes that you spend before, or after your sport or activity are the most effective barrier for preventing muscle, tendon and ligament injuries.
- Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to your body’s needs and give yourself adequate time to rest and recover between sessions. Additionally,
- Stay hydrated, eat healthy, and train well in order to build endurance and maintain adequate muscle mass.
- Watch out for signs, such as stiff joints, sore muscles, or pain in your hip, shoulder, knee, or elbow. Check if you are favoring one side of the body (such as limping, or overuse of one limb) while performing your favorite activity.
- If your child has recently started playing a new sport, insist on qualified adult supervision.
Although you may take several precautions to avoid injuries, they may still occur. Regular physical therapy treatments will help you to condition your muscles and make a faster recovery following an injury. At Medical Rehabilitation Centers of Pennsylvania (MRCP), our multi-disciplinary team includes licensed physical therapists, sports physicians, emergency medicine expert, as well as athletic trainers. We offer comprehensive diagnostics and a wide range of physical therapy treatments that focus on reducing pain and restoring your mobility and function.