The warm summer weather is drawing people outdoors and young athletes are often participating in competitive sports tournaments. All these activities are important for the heart, lungs and muscles, but people should remember to use some caution to avoid heat-related dangers as well as overuse injuries. Follow the tips below to have a fun and safe summer!
Drink fluids. Drink plenty of water to avoid muscle cramping or heat-related illness. Fluids should be consumed frequently during strenuous activity and within a half hour of training. If you wait until you’re thirsty, it may be too late to properly hydrate.
Conditions related to a lack of fluids include:
- Heat cramps
- Heat exhaustion
- Heat stroke
Avoid Peak Sun. Rigorous workouts during the peak temperatures of 11 a.m. to 2 p.m should be avoided. Some athletes think the heat makes them tougher. That’s true only if your body is already in top condition. Otherwise, you could be at risk for heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Warm Up. Even in the summer, it’s important to gently warm up muscles and tendons before playing sports. After being physically active outdoors, you need to give your body time to cool down before you go into a significantly different environment, such as an air-conditioned building.
Eat Balanced Meals. Proper nutrition is important to maintaining your body’s peak performance. For endurance sports such as football or track, eat plenty of carbohydrates, which turn into glucose and the energy you’ll need to sustain your activity.
Pace Yourself. If you’re not already in shape, make sure to pace yourself. Increase your workout regimen gradually, by no more than 10 percent a week.
No matter how many measures we take to stay safe, accidents can still happen from time to time. If you find yourself in need of orthopedic care for an injury, please call us at (757) 873-1554 to schedule your appointment.