By Laura Garcia, program specialist with Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP)
(Photo by Pixabay)
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Summer sports can be lots of fun! But high impact workouts, such as running, soccer, basketball and gymnastics, can place great demand on the joints. And after being inside for a long winter, bodies may not be prepared for the extra, sudden stress placed upon them. Here are a few tips to help reduce injuries and make summer sports much more enjoyable:
- Do the prep work by increasing time spent stretching and body conditioning, before jumping into your chosen sport.
- Understand that heat and sun place additional stressors on our bodies, so wear a hat, apply sunscreen and stay hydrated via water and sports drinks — now is not the time to add additional stress to the body with alcohol.
- Know your limits and when you need to seek emergency medical care. Possible concussions, broken bones or sprains warrant a trip to the ER. Ensuring that you receive proper medical care and rest will help prevent you from being taken out of the game permanently.
- Minor sports injuries can be treated at home using the RICE method: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
- Remember to keep a first aid kit on hand and close by to treat minor injuries. Keep the kit stocked with band aids, antiseptic cream, tweezers (for removing bee stingers, splinters and other small items) and an ice pack.
- Be proactive and keep washcloths in a resealable plastic bag in the ice chest. These will be useful for cooling off sunburns, wiping down sweaty faces and alleviating minor sprains.
- Take time to ease into summer sports to give the body a chance to acclimatize to heat and muscle use.
The 2021 Summer Sense Campaign runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Every week, ASAP expects to bring the segments of the campaign to the small screen with videos and fun facts broadcasted via AFN TV. Then return to this article for the discussed recipes, quizzes and more.