The summer season is typically a peak time of physical activity for most people. This summer, after spending much of the past year inside due to the pandemic, athletic and other physical activities will even be more popular. Unfortunately, after a period of having a dormant lifestyle, physical stress on the body could be very damaging. Nobody wants to escape a pandemic to find themselves sidelined due to injuries from physical stress. Taking five factors into consideration can insure your goal of remaining active and without injury throughout the summer.
The simplicity of stretching is likely one of the main reasons it often gets overlooked in an exercise routine, even though it is probably one of the most important parts. Stretching increases the range of motion in your body to prevent tears and strains from occurring upon movement. Harvard Medical School recommends every adult, despite activity level, to stretch at least 3 times a week. This is just to prevent injury from day-to-day living. Athletes and people in training should do this before every activity for at least 60 seconds per stretch.
Hydrate and Breathe
Again, two of the most simple concepts learned at birth are some of the most important and often overlooked. Stretching does little good for unhealthy muscles. To keep the cells and the tissue healthy, ligaments, tendons and muscles need hydration. They also need oxygen. Both during stretching and exercising, regular breathing techniques should be utilized for the body to operate at peak performance. Healthy, hydrated muscles play a key role in injury prevention.
Attention to Detail
Not every injury-prevention technique is physical. Some athletic injuries have occurred simply from not paying attention to their environment. Every year in baseball, we see a player hit a wall or trip over something on the field, because they are unaware of their environment. Accidental injuries are one of the leading causes of hospitalization. Sometimes, being aware of your environment and paying close attention to possible hazards can be the most effective way to keep yourself safe.
According to an article conducted by the staff at the Mayo Clinic, cooling down after exercise or athletic activity is just as important as warm-up stretches. Warming up eases your heart rate gradually above normal, so your heart rate also needs to return normal gradually. While there are various techniques, the most simple thing to remember is continuing your activity at a slower rate, until your heart rate returns to normal.
Spinal injuries do not just occur under strenuous activity, but they also are one of the leading causes of everyday injuries in adults over the age of 40. Community ChiroCare in Memphis, TN, lists a number of various spinal injuries that can occur, when the body isn’t ready for a high amount of stress. Some of these require regular treatments in order to recover fully. To avoid getting to this point, it is important to concentrate on exercises that strengthen the core of the body. A strong core is essential to taking pressure off of the lower back. This can be accomplished by doing non-resistant exercises to strengthen the lower abdomen and back.
Incorporating these techniques into your activity is essential for a healthy summer.