Health Today: Avoid sport injuries
(Editor's Note: Health Today is a regular column from health care professionals at UofL that features information ranging from health issues to UofL faculty/staff benefits.)
Often people think only kids get sports injuries. However, sports injuries can occur at any age. Adults of all ages are maintaining an active lifestyle - from recreational sports to a variety of weekend warrior activities to triathlons. Preventing injuries is crucial to maintaining activity.
Keys to staying injury free:
- Start slowly and gradually increase your activity.
- Do not ignore persistent aches and pains. A little soreness is okay, but if the soreness lingers or keeps you from staying active, seek advice from a physician.
- Vary your routine. Often we get in a set routine and our bodies and muscles get used to that regimen. If you always run, try cycling or swimming. This change will use different muscles and help keep you from getting overuse injuries.
- Make sure you have a good pair of shoes that are right for your feet and your activities. It is often helpful to go to a running store and have your feet examined so an appropriate pair of shoes can be recommended for your foot type.
- Stretch. Most people do not enjoy stretching, but it is an important part of your exercise routine. The best time to stretch is after you have warmed up a little and at the end of exercising. Yoga is an activity that can be useful in increasing your flexibility.
- If you have any chronic medical problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol or high blood pressure, speak with your doctor before beginning an exercise program.
Staying active is an important part of maintaining good health. Make the decision today to be more active. Grab your shoes and get moving to a healthier you!