Avoiding Summer Sports Injuries

It’s that time of year! With the warm summer weather, we are eager to be active outside again. However, we need to be cautious as we return to our summer sports. In the summer, there is a significantly higher risk of injuries, such as strains, sprains, concussions, and overuse injuries. Here are eight helpful tips to avoid summer sports injuries.  

1. Know Your Sport or Activity 

Researching common injuries in your summer sport will assist you in learning the safest techniques and create a specific fitness plan (mix of cardiovascular, resistance, and stretching exercises) in the offseason to prevent the likelihood of injury.  

2. Prepare your Body 

It’s important to start slow and build your strength/endurance before pushing your body to its maximum output.  

For example: An individual that wants to run a half marathon should start off running a half mile and gradually increase distance each week to prevent strains and overuse. 

3.Perform Warm and Cool-down Exercises/Activities 

Before playing a sport, it’s important to perform warm-up exercises (dynamic stretching and light sport specific activity) and prepare muscles to reduce muscle strains and sprains. 

After playing a sport, cool down exercises (static stretching and light conditioning, such as jogging) will assist in relaxing muscles and improving blood flow for healing. Icing for 10-15 minutes is great to use in order to reduce inflammation and pain as well. 

4. Switch Sports or Activities

There is a higher chance of overuse injury when an athlete plays the same sport because he or she is placing consistent strain on the same body parts.

Try not to play multiple games of the same sport on the same day.

5. Stay Hydrated and Eat Healthy

Drinking an adequate amount water (before and after the sport) prevents dehydration, and heat stroke. Water lubricates the joints and muscles to prevent injury.

Eat foods that are rich in water, such as fruits and vegetables, to stay hydrated.

Note: Drinking too much water can cause kidney, liver, and heart issues.

6. Take Rest Breaks and Listen to your Body

The body needs time to heal, especially when you start playing sports again in the summer.

If you feel fatigued, discomfort, and/or pain, it’s important to discontinue activity to prevent further injury.

7. Wear Appropriate Clothing

Wear loose, light clothing and proper equipment for your sport to prevent heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and injury.

Wearing the correct footwear will assist in reducing leg injuries.

8. Seek Medical Attention if Needed

If you have an injury, make sure you see a medical professional for proper rehabilitation.

If you have an injury, schedule an appointment with a physical or occupational therapist at DPT today so you can get better, faster!