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Friday Night Lights: Keep Healthy During Fall Sports
Now that the summer heat is disappearing, the fall sports season is ramping up. Whether you’re passing the ball around during the family Thanksgiving football game, or suiting up under the Friday night lights, safety should still be on your mind. If you’re not careful, you can just as easily hurt yourself and be out of the fun completely.
In terms of overall health, sports and exercise are vital for a healthy lifestyle. That said, not properly taking care of your body during sports can do just as much, if not more, damage to your body. Here’s what you should keep in mind to avoid a possibly expensive injury.
Warming up is extremely important. Ask any pro athlete and they will reveal a sometimes extensive warm up process for the intense strain they’re going to be put under. Though you don’t really have to be an athlete when warming up, not taking preparations before a casual game can hurt you.
Stretches and sport-specific exercises help stretch your muscles and gets blood flowing to critical muscle groups. Intense physical activity without a warm up session increases the possibility of strains and muscle tears since your body is forced to endure intense strain without preparation.
This is especially important for children playing sports as their bodies are still developing. Make sure they always warm up before an activity.
When warming up, use a combination of static and dynamic stretches. Static stretches, like toe touches and hamstring stretches, are good for improving your range of motion and loosening muscles. Dynamic stretches like sprints and leg swings prepare your body for sport-specific movements and increase blood flow.
Special attention should also be paid to prevent ACL injuries. Your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a major ligament in your knee that is prone to injury during sports. Stretches and exercises meant to strengthen it go a long way to preventing a debilitating and expensive injury. Women should especially take note, as they are eight times more likely to sustain an ACL injury.
Once the game ends, proper rest helps your body heal and allows it to grow properly. Cool down exercises and stretches like the aforementioned help your body recover at a good pace. Rehydrating with water also allows your body to recover and ice helps reduce swelling after minor injuries or overuse.
Speaking of overuse, it’s possible to hurt yourself through too much activity. Don’t be afraid to take a day off or two for a good rest. Missing some days is always better than hurting yourself and missing more.
Stepping in for You
Sports are always an adventure where you can never predict the outcome. That’s where Shepard Walton King steps in. If you injured yourself during a game, rest assured that our comprehensive health insurance plans will keep you covered no matter how long you’re stuck on the sidelines. If you would like to learn more about how we can help, send us a message or give us a call at 800.446.2471.