Preparing for Spring Sports

HealthLink: News You Can Use

February 18, 2020

Preparing for Spring Sports

With the warm weather just a few months away we will all soon be enjoying the outside and being more active. Whether you participate in a spring sport or just increase your activity, now is the time to prepare for a more active lifestyle!

Before you begin or resume a sport or an activity it is important to start with conditioning. A regular dynamic warm up routine with moderate exercise and stretching will help your muscles to build flexibility and strength prior to the start of the season. A warm up routine increases blood flow to the muscles; this will decrease the risk of injury or strain as you intensify your training and practice. A warm up and cool down should be part of your routine prior and during the season.

In addition to flexibility and strength, you should look for activities that will increase your stamina, which is the strength and energy that allows you to sustain your physical and mental effort for longer periods of time. Increasing your stamina helps you play longer and smarter. It also reduces fatigue and exhaustion. Building stamina requires not just physical exercise, but also mindfulness, good sleep patterns and a healthy diet.

“Preparation is the key to a successful season,” said Lisa Kaplin, DO, Orthopedic Surgeon with Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitation Associates. “I have worked with many athletes and the lack of proper preparation can lead to injuries or the individual can be delayed in reaching their full potential at the start of the season.”

Here are some suggestions to ensure success:

  • Always warm up and cool down before doing any exercise leading up to or during the season. Include stretching in your routine. It’s now recommended to stretch as part of a dynamic warm up rather than stretching before you’ve started to move.
  • Pace yourself. Don’t just go back to the same level of activity if you have been dormant for a while, especially if you are recovering from an injury.
  • Cross train for conditioning and to develop your overall muscle mass. Switch it up. Repetition and overuse can cause injuries!
  • Engage in stamina-building exercises like hiking, jogging, yoga, and circuit weight training.
  • See an orthopedic specialist if you have any weakness or ongoing issues that could put you at risk for injuries prior to starting your spring activities.

Once the season has started, remember to keep your body healthy throughout the season and make sure to get rest after hard training sessions, practices, and games. Make sure you properly treat any injuries; don’t work out if you are in pain.

If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort, you should see your doctor or consider an evaluation by a sports medicine physician, orthopedist, or physical therapist. Call 800-818-4747 to find an orthopedic specialist near you.

Do you want to learn how to better prepare for your spring fitness activities? Join us for a free seminar Common Sports Injuries - Prevention and Treatment, 6:00pm on Thursday, March 19, at the Spark! Transformation Center in Huntingdon Valley. Click here for more information or to register.

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  - Pediatrics
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