From “two-a-days” during football season, to adding one pound too many to your squat rack at the gym, athletes can become overly ambitious when it comes to training for the upcoming sports season. If precautions aren’t taken, consequences can be disastrous.
Know your limits and your body. It’s important to heed the advice of your physician while healing from previous injuries; rushing to get back in the game could leave you on the bench for life. Never work through the pain. Researchers at Harvard Medical School maintain that fatigue increases your susceptibility to workout injuries.
Orthopedic doctors can be especially beneficial resources to help prevent sports injuries from occurring in the first place – they are equipped to assess physical weaknesses and suggest appropriate exercises to remedy them. Should you have weak joints, sports and exercises that limit the impact on your knees and hips may be advised – such as swimming, elliptical machines, and cycling.
When it comes to sports, don’t let your figurative “well” run dry. A lack of adequate hydration can lead to myriad problems when it comes to high-energy sports. As a general rule, it’s best to consume 17 to 20 ounces of water 2 to 3 hours before hitting the court, gym, or field; another 8 ounces while warming up; and 7 to 10 ounces every 20 minutes during your sweat session. If you are participating in high-energy activities for more than 90 minutes at a time, consider supplementing with something more potent – such as a sports beverage, which will replenish much-needed glycogen.
Don’t skimp on the warm-up and cool-down. Overlooked by many, these crucial components of your workout help the muscles and joints to adjust and loosen up for the activities that lie ahead. They are also beneficial for gradually increasing and decreasing your heart rate (rather than spiking it). Jumping rope and jogging in place are both recommended methods of warming up.
Dress the part. Looking good at the gym isn’t worth risking your safety. However, many athleisure clothing brands are merging the functional and safety aspects we need with the styles we love. If you’re a cyclist, wear a helmet. If you’re a runner, get fitted and invest in a sturdy pair of running shoes.
Listen to the experts. Rather than winging it at the gym, try signing up for training sessions. They will guide you through each exercise, and ensure that you are using correct posture. They can also craft a program suited to your needs. Many gyms offer a free training session to new members – a service that’s certainly worth its weight in gold.
If you haven’t already visited one, an orthopedic specialist can help you stay in the game; their expert advice is helpful for preventing sports maladies. Dr. Jeffrey Carroll and the staff at Movement Orthopedics offer state-of-the-art treatments for all of your orthopedic needs. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call (586) 436-3785.