Six Tips to Preventing Spring Sports Injuries
With spring comes a welcome rise in temperatures and a glorious return to outdoor athletic activities. No matter if you’re an avid jogger, flag football junkie, or tennis club champion, you’re probably looking for ways to avoid sports injuries and remain active this spring.
While there’s no definitive way to prevent all sports injuries, keeping these six simple tips in mind can go a long way toward helping you stay in the game and out of the doctor’s office:
Warm Up Well
Warming up before exercise is key to preparing your body for physical activity. Research proves that heated muscles are less likely to become strained, so make sure to thoroughly stretch or go on a light jog before playing any sport.
Spring’s balmy temperatures may be no match for summer’s scorching heat, but that doesn’t mean that you can skimp on water intake. Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after engaging in physical activity. Specifically, hydrate 30 minutes before playing and take a water break every 15 to 20 minutes. This can help alleviate muscle fatigue and lower the risk of injury.
Use Well-Fitting Equipment
Wear all recommended safety equipment for your sport of choice, which may include a helmet, pads, a mouthpiece, eyewear, or a faceguard. Make sure all equipment—including your shoes—fits snugly and is correctly fastened.
Listen to Your Body
Some measure of discomfort is acceptable when you’re exercising and pushing yourself, but not all pain is good pain. Listen to your body and take breaks as needed. If you suspect you’ve injured yourself or if pain levels increase, stop playing immediately and rest.
Remember to Cool Down
Many athletes know the importance of warming up their bodies, but cooling down after physical activity is equally as important. Stretching tired muscles and gradually slowing your heart rate can help maintain flexibility and regulate blood flow—factors that are particularly important for competitive endurance athletes like marathon runners.
Take Some Off-Days
Even the most well-conditioned bodies aren’t meant to be active all the time. Taking one to two days per week to rest will help prevent overuse injuries and give muscles a much-needed break.
Of course, injuries are bound to happen every now and then. When sprains, strains, or other sports injuries strike, PhysicianOne Urgent Care is an excellent place to turn for walk-in medical treatment. An affiliate of Tufts Medical Center and Yale New Haven Health, our physician-led practice has dozens of locations throughout the Northeast and serves patients of all ages. Our urgent care centers are fully equipped and open 365 days per year during extended hours, so you can count on our experts to provide the sports injury treatment you need, when you need it.
We’re here to help! Visit a PhysicianOne Urgent Care location near you or chat with us online through our 24/7 telehealth services. To find answers to any questions you may have, contact our friendly team today at 1-860-650-3848.