I think most can agree that it has been a long time coming this year!
Summer is here and temperatures are rising again! For many of us that means finally being able to get outside and enjoy the outdoors. We can leave the monotony of the gym and head outside. And being as lucky as we are to live in a place where there is so much to do when the weather is nice, is just an added bonus. However, just as we see a lot of injuries during the winter for weather-related incidents, the summer also has its concerns as a lot of us get over-excited and head out to enjoy good weather. So whether you are a weekend warrior or regular outsider; doing whatever sport or activity you choose, try to remember these helpful tips as you integrate back into the outdoors.
? Slow and Steady
If you are someone who never quite made it back to the gym to start working off that holiday weight, don?t plan on hitting the field in the same condition as you were in at the end of last season. Too much too soon can you leave you injured and back inside sooner than you would like. Instead, ease your way into your activity by gradually increasing the duration of exercise time, starting with about 30 minutes, 4-6 times a week. If you can, you always want to try and make it sport-specific. Slowly building endurance will keep you healthy, allowing your body to adjust to the new stresses you are putting on it.
? Equipment check
Make sure you check all equipment before heading back onto the field or back in the water, whatever the case may be. Some equipment can crack from disuse or just need to be replaced from overuse. Helmets are a great example and are used in many different sports.
1. Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of serious head or brain injury and should be worn with several sports, but most commonly bike riding in the summer.
2. Helmets are meant to prevent a fracture, but not a concussion. During a fall or crash, the helmet will absorb much of the force of the impact that otherwise would be directed to the head. A new helmet should ALWAYS be purchased after a crash, even if it appears fine.
3. Make sure the helmet is snug, leveled square on top of your head, and stable with a chinstrap to keep it from moving.
? Beat the Heat
A good rule of thumb is to try and be as active as possible as early as possible. Once the temperature rises about 90 degrees, you?re at risk for heat-related illnesses. Make sure you stay hydrated. Avoid major activity between 10 am and 3 pm (the hottest time of the day) and wear light-colored, well-ventilated, loose fit clothing.
To avoid the risk of skin cancer and protect yourself from the sun, the FDA advises that you use:
1. Broad Spectrum sunscreen with SPF higher than 15.
2. Reapply at least every 2 hours (although 1 is even better), especially if you?re out in the water or sweating a lot.
3. Limit your time in the sun (especially between 10 am and 3 pm).
4. Wear clothing to cover skin exposed to the sun, ie sunglasses and broad-brimmed hats.
So get out there and be active, have some fun and enjoy the summer! And be Safe, Happy, and Health!
Dr. Ali Perez, DC, ART
Doctor of Chiropractic
Sport and Spine Rehab, Sterling