Weekend Warriors Don’t Have to be Weekend Wreckers

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Exercise is good for you.  No one is ever going to say any different (at least, not without a heavy load of sarcasm).  The problem comes when we don’t properly prepare or we overdo it (not something the average guy thinks about “in the moment.”)

There are many causes of sports or recreational injuries.

  • improper or poor training practices
  • wearing improper, ill-fitting, or worn out gear
  • being in poor health condition
  • improper warm-up or stretching before a sporting event or exercise

There are, however, some basic precautions that you can take to help insure you have a good time and not suffer for it:

  • Warm up properly.  Stretching exercises can improve the ability of muscles to contract and perform, reducing the risk for injury. Each stretch should start slowly until you reach a point of muscle tension. Stretching should not be painful. Aim to hold each stretch for up to 20 seconds.
  • Cool down properly after exercise or sports. It should take twice as long as your warm ups.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
  • Use the right equipment or gear. This includes helmets, pads, or athletic wraps when appropriate.  And be sure to wear shoes that provide support – worn out or improperly sized shoes can lead to injury.
  • Learn the right techniques to play your sport or other activity. Avoid overextending, lifting the wrong way, or twisting in ways your body is not meant to move.
  • Rest when tired. Avoid exercise when you are tired or in pain.
  • If strength training, always take your time to go through the full range of motion with each repetition.
  • If you do sustain a sports or other injury, make sure you see your doctor and participate in adequate rehabilitation before resuming strenuous activity.

And if you are outside, remember the sunscreen (those collared shirts and ties leave a nice white zone of pale skin that can quickly burn if you aren’t careful). 

Enjoy your weekend, and don’t let it become “wreck-reation.”

Have other questions about sports and recreational injuries?  On Tuesday, June 14th doctors, exercise experts, physical therapists, and other orthopedic specialists will be discussing this topic on KUTV and Intermountain Healthcare’s Ask the Expert. Tips and suggestions will be offered throughout the day on Channel 2, with experts providing interviews during news and other broadcasts.

If you have your own questions, our panel of experts will be answering your phone calls from noon to 5:30 p.m. at 1-877-908-0680. You can also submit questions via Facebook and Twitter using #kutvasktheexpert.

For more information visit intermountainhealthcare.org/asktheexpert.