Summer is here, which means outdoor activity and summer sports injuries are too. While POA is here to provide you with orthopedic care, we prefer you don’t get hurt in the first place. Whether you’re swimming laps, hiking mountains, or spiking volleyballs, here are some tips on staying safe this season:
Gear Up and Warm Up
Summertime sees many ankle, shoulder, and knee injuries. Surprisingly, it’s during impromptu games and backyard activities, when we have our guards down, that most orthopedic injuries occur. Safeguard against these injuries by changing into proper gear and taking the time to warm up before jumping in.
Cool Down and Stretch Out
The last thing you may want to do after you’ve finished a workout in the heat is continue to move or stretch. But did you know that your body is actually primed for cooling down and stretching after physical activity? This is because blood is flowing to your muscles and tissues to make them limber. Cooling down and stretching at the end of a workout prevents future stiffness while increasing your range of motion and simultaneously lubricating your joints.
Don’t Wait to Hydrate
Dehydration happens easily in summer. To protect yourself, be sure to hydrate well before you exercise, throughout your workout, and afterward. Help build your hydration habit by drinking water the night before morning workouts, carrying a water bottle to sip throughout the day, and eating a diet rich in whole foods like fruits and vegetables.
Gather Your Group
Aside from camaraderie and added motivation, it’s important to workout with others whenever possible from a safety standpoint; your workout partners can spot signs of heat-related illnesses before you do. Be sure to watch for lack of sweat, dizziness, confusion, nausea, and headaches, and have your fellow exercisers do the same.
Everything in Moderation
Exercise should never be painful. In fact, safe exercise should strengthen muscles and joints to prevent pain. Practice moderation by gradually increasing the intensity, frequency, or duration of your exercise to slowly build up to a challenging level of physical activity. Deliberately focus on using a full range of motion with each exercise, and always listen to your body – pain or fatigue can likely lead to injury.
If you do experience injury this summer, our orthopedic doctors at Proliance Orthopedic Associates are here to help. At POA, we are committed to quality care, specializing in sports medicine, knee arthroscopy, and more. For more information regarding our services or our orthopedic doctors in Seattle and beyond, please contact our orthopedic clinic today.