With winter now firmly—we hope—in the rearview mirror, more and more people are getting outside, enjoying the weather, and increasing their activity levels! The kids are already getting into the swing of baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis, and track seasons at school, and the parks are filling up with both formal and not-so-formal competitions.
We definitely encourage people of all ages to get out, enjoy the weather, and get the blood flowing again! However, there’s a definite risk of injury when you play, especially if you’ve been cooped up inside watching TV for most of the winter.
The following tips can help keep you from getting hurt as you head back out to the field, court, track, or trail this spring:
- Make sure your gear is still in good shape. Old, worn-out shoes need to be replaced, along with any protective equipment that’s been damaged or outgrown. Also, make sure you have the full complement of safety gear your sport requires—helmets, elbow pads, shin guards, etc.
- Always make sure you get a good warm up in before exercise or sports. This prepares your muscles, heart, and lungs for more strenuous athletic activity.
- Ease yourself into your sport or activity, especially if it’s a new sport or you just haven’t been very active for the last few months. If you try to go from 0 to 60 right away, there’s a good chance you’ll get hurt. Start slow and increase your intensity a little each week as you are able.
- Stay hydrated. Your body loses a lot of fluid during exercise, so make sure you drink lots of water (and have more on hand during the game).
- Listen to your body. A little hard work and sweat is no problem, of course. But if you’re in pain, feeling dizzy, or having trouble concentrating, don’t try to stay on the field. This will only make whatever problem or injury you have worse—and ultimately cost you more playing time in the long run.
- Know the rules. We encourage you to try new things and new sports, but make sure you know the rules and are considerate of others while you play. This helps keep you safe and prevents accidental collisions or injuries.
- If you’re a runner, know that terrain can make a difference. Routes that feature lots of hills or paved surfaces can be tough on feet and legs, especially if you haven’t run in a while. Stick to gentler surfaces if necessary.
- Cool down after playing. This helps you flush toxins from your body efficiently and prevents aches and cramps later.
The whole team at Martin Foot and Ankle wishes you a healthy, active, and fun spring sports season! If you do suffer an injury and need help from our team of podiatrists or physical therapists, please give us a call today at (717) 757-3537. You can also request an appointment by completing our contact form.