Summer is here! It’s the perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities like beach volleyball, camping, hiking, kayaking, baseball, soccer, football, gardening, lawn bowling, tennis, cycling, golf, horseback riding, and so much more! It’s very important, however, to be proactive and do what you can to prevent any injuries from occurring while you are having fun in the sun!
People often don’t get reminded about the importance of stretching until suffering from an injury. You may be tempted to just jump into certain activities, but you need to take the time to stretch and warm up your muscles – especially if you haven’t been very active as of late. This will help to prevent joint injuries and muscle tears. And remember to stretch before AND after. Need some tips on the best ways to stretch? Ask your physiotherapist!
Be Mindful with Lifting
Ensure you are lifting things the right way. With camping or gardening for example, you may be using heavy tools. If you lift things properly with the right muscle groups, you will be able to avoid injuring your back.
Keep Your Core Strong
Your core muscles include your lower back and abdominals. It is great to strengthen these muscles with exercises like crunches and leg raises. Your physio will be able to recommend exercises to help prevent hip, knee, and back injuries.
Wear the Right Gear
Be sure to wear the right protective gear for whatever activity you are participating in. If you are hiking for example, you want to ensure you have proper hiking boots to provide you with good support. If you are playing ball or horseback riding, you want to ensure you wear a helmet. When kayaking or doing any water sports, always wear a life jacket. Also, if you have a pre-existing injury, you may have to wear a brace or compression socks.
Yes, stretching may take more time…and you may not want to spend the money on the appropriate protective gear, but if choose not to, this can really cost you in the long run. Don’t miss out on the beautiful summer months because of an injury that could have been prevented!
Are you located in the Vancouver area?
Have questions or need more tips? Ask one of our Vancouver physiotherapists during your next visit at Dunbar Physio.