Tips to Staying Healthy and on the Field

Tips to Staying Healthy and on the Field – Outdoor sports are finally in full force. Although many athletes have been training, conditioning and playing games, the intensity will definitely be ramping up with more practices and games each week. The COVID-19 pandemic put many sports on the shelf for a significant time, and with club and high school coaches raring to go, the volume of practices and games will definitely tax all athletes involved.

With club and high school sports going at the same time, athletes may be asked to practice twice a day and play upwards of four games a week for only one sport. What if your athlete plays multiple sports? Though everyone is excited to get back to play, it is important to make sure your athlete is doing everything possible to stay healthy and not go back on the shelf. Injuries will occur and stats show that the older you are and the higher the level you play, injury rates will increase, so it’s imperative to take some simple steps to stay injury free and in the game. Below are 5 tips that can easily be followed to stay healthy during the return.

Tips to Staying Healthy and on the Field

Cool down after play

When practice or games end, it’s not a good idea to just get in the car and go home. Take 10-15 minutes to get in a light jog for 3-5 minutes. Follow this by foam rolling tight and sore muscles and stretching them out. Before activity, avoid static stretching, but afterwards can be very beneficial. Though the foam rolling may hurt, the stretching should not.

Don’t forget to strengthen

Time will be scarce, but ignoring strength training and injury prevention exercises can’t take a back seat. Playing more doesn’t make an athlete stronger, but can actually break your muscles down and weaken them. There is a reason professional athletes lift frequently during the season, even after games. Find time two to three days a week to perform some sort of strength and stability exercises such as lunges and planks to reduce the risk of injury.

Eat, drink and sleep

With increased activity, your athlete will burn more calories and will need to eat more to replenish energy. More practices and more games means more sweat that can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can cause painful muscle cramps, decreased performance and lead to heat illnesses. More time at the field will leave less time at home to do schoolwork which should be at the forefront. Often sleep gets overlooked and the lack of it can affect performance and lead to injury.

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