Summer Exercise and Fitness

The arrival of summer brings a greater desire to participate in summer sports and activities.  Swimming, waterskiing, backpacking, hiking, and volleyball are just a few fun sports and activities that people indulge in to feed their fitness appetite during the summer season.  If the right steps are taken, these activities will maximize your health and fitness while also stimulating your body and mind.  

Of course, with every sport or physical activity, aches, pains or  injuries are a possibility. To ensure an enjoyable and active summer, it is important to prepare your body for what is about to do. Common injuries for people participating in sports or exercise activities can range from broken bones, fractures, strains, sprains, and muscle pain to symptoms such as chronic back and knee problems. Most, if not all, of these are easily avoidable if you follow a few easy steps.

1- Hydrate– During the summer, our bodies work overtime to keep our system cool. It is important to hydrate, preferably with water, before, during and after whatever exercise or activity you are involved in to prevent dehydration or heat stroke.

2. Warm-Up– Contrary to popular belief, stretching before an exercise does not prevent injury. Studies show that an athlete should limit the pre-routine stretch time and increase the warm up time to better avoid injuries. Increased range of motion and a true “stretch” cannot be achieved until after a warm-up is completed, which will increase the level of its effectiveness.

3. Equipment– When performing activities such as hiking, boating, or water skiing, it is important to have appropriate equipment. Shoes or boots that fit properly are key, as many injuries (especially lower back) stem from problems with your feet. Also, when water skiing or boating, wearing a life jacket that fits properly will prevent serious injury.

4. Listen to your Body– Most often your body will tell you when you have had enough of an activity. Pushing yourself too hard or too far can result in  injuries such as tears and sprains.

5. Rest– While all of these activities are great for your health, it is important to note that too much of anything can bring on unwanted problems. Most chronic injuries and pain is a result of overuse, or improperly performing a function.

If over the course of the summer you find yourself taking part in activities like these, be sure to follow these steps and you will find yourself healthier and fitter than ever. A fun-filled summer of activity and adventure awaits. Don’t be afraid to stretch the boundaries and reach for new heights! 

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