Dr. Koc shares the Do’s and Don’ts for safe exercising

Working out and exercising should be part of everyone’s daily activities. Young adults and high school students are now, more than ever, playing a different sport every season. It’s a physically and mentally healthy approach to safe exercising while you’re young. But it can cause serious workout injuries to certain parts of the body.  Students playing multiple sports are more prone to injuries because they are overusing their muscles.

A study conducted in 2018 found that, “an estimated 40 million school-aged children (age range 5-18 years) participate annually in sports in the United States, generating approximately 4 million sport-related injuries.” There are so many benefits to playing sports as it helps keep students active, in-shape, and can even improve attention within the classroom; but it is just as important to ensure you are getting enough rest in between and during seasons to practice safe exercise.

Where do young people get hurt the most?

Any place on the body is subject to injury when performing strenuous activity.  Common workout injuries include, but are not limited to:

It’s important to know the proper form and technique of safe exercising before deciding to hit the weights again or train for next season.

Preventing Workout Injuries, especially when you’re young

Take Breaks

Remember, your body needs to rest once in a while. Taking a break at least one day a week will give your body a chance to recuperate and be stronger for the next time you start up again.  Research shows that playing the same sport for twelve months out of the year does not improve the technical skill of the sport, but instead will most likely cause injury.

During the sports season, each student should be focusing on how much playing time they are getting. It’s important to understand when to take a rest not only during the season, but during the game itself.  Focus on healing your body, even if that means not playing the whole game through. To keep your body in the best shape it can be, limit your the time on the field so you’re always performing at 100%.

Drink Liquids

Keeping your body hydrated throughout any workout is key. Drink something high in electrolytes to balance the amount of sugar and sodium you are losing through sweat because your body burns through sugar very quickly during exercises and sports related activities.

Always remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Even if you’re not working out every day, your body is mostly water. Rehydrate

Be Prepared

The right apparel is everything. In the summer, wear light, breathable clothing. In the winter, wear something that will protect your muscles from the brisk air. 

Read this article to find out how sports therapy can loosen up winter muscles.

Being prepared includes the gear you have to wear for each sport. Ensure everything fits you properly to lower the risk of injury on the field. As young adults, you may have grown out of your equipment from the year before. Check before the season starts that everything fits correctly and you are good to go for that first practice of the season.  Whether that means getting fitted for the properly sized helmet, shoulder pads, mouthpieces, face guards, or eyewear, make sure it feels safe and secure. Remember, the protective gear never means it is okay to play dangerously or take more risks – always play safe for your benefit and the benefit of the other players on the field. 

Stretching is one of the easiest approaches to safe exercising. Stretch before, during, and after a workout, practice, or game can help muscles loosen and glide easier, making them less prone to injury. There are different types of stretches you can do at various points of your workout. For example, dynamic stretching, or active stretching, should be done prior to exercise, whereas static stretching, or a stretch that is held in a challenging but comfortable position for a period of time should be utilized post-workout to decrease the risk for muscle injuries.

Read this article to get more information on why stretching leads to a better workout.

Strengthening muscles that are used for a specific sport also helps with muscle memory. Working on specific muscles helps gain strength and improves your game. 

Read this article on ways to help strengthen your core!

Play safely and always remember to listen to your coaches and trainers. They are there to help you, and to ensure you do not get hurt. If anything starts to hurt while playing, stop immediately and ask for help.

Takeaway

Understanding your body, especially as it is growing, is a huge part of staying safe while performing any sort of physical activity.  Keep up with these tips for safe exercising to have a fun, long season for every sport you play. Finally, make sure you consult with a professional about any pain or exhaustion you have. If you have any questions, book an appointment today

Pro Staff Institute, LLC, has a network of outpatient physical rehabilitation centers in New Jersey. Pro Staff was founded in 2010 by Frank Pavlisko and Michael Maffucci. Through Frank’s 25 plus years experience in Physical Therapy and Michael’s experience in Management Services, our goal is to exceed customer expectations by providing the highest quality of service in a fun, family, friendly, and encouraging environment.

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