Summer weather means fun activities, enjoying the outdoors, and participating in new sports, but did you know that it can also mean an increase in injuries? Here are five easy ways that you can stay safe this summer and keep your activities both fun and safe!
1. Don’t overuse the same muscles or joints
Repetitive motions or activities can cause injuries due to overuse of joints and muscles. To prevent these types of injuries, it’s important to balance the type of exercise you do by having a mix of cardiovascular exercise, stretching, and strength training. By alternating between these types of exercise, not only are you helping prevent injury, but you’re strengthening parts of your body that may otherwise not get much attention.
2. Know your pain limits
Pain from chronic conditions like arthritis can flare up in the summer when performing new activities for the first time. Gardening and running tend to be catalysts for these issues as they are often started during summer months. If you do experience pain, it’s important to remember to take consistent breaks to allow your body time to recover.
Water sports are also popular in the summer months due to the ability to cool down. If you are picking up a water sport again, like water skiing, wakeboarding, or surfing, be sure to ease into it and only increase the intensity when you are ready.
If you do suffer from an injury during any sport or activity, be sure to take the appropriate amount of time off so that your injury has time to heal.
3. Use the appropriate gear
Be sure to follow all safety guidelines, including using safety gear even if you are confident in your abilities. Wearing a life jacket in the water is often required when riding in a boat or jet ski, or when participating in water sports. Not only will these devices assist in keeping you safe, but they also prevent your muscles from becoming fatigued.
Depending on the sport, you may also want to wear a helmet. Aside from wearing a helmet on land when biking or roller blading, it’s also a good idea to wear a helmet when participating in water sports since they can result in a concussion due to hard impact at fast speeds.
Lastly, be sure to choose the right shoe for your needs, and replace your shoes depending on how often you are using them. It’s important to make sure that you are maintaining sturdy, yet comfortable, support during all activities.
4. Treat acute injuries at home
If you suffer from an injury that does not require urgent medical treatment, you can start with at home treatments. Follow the RICE method:
- Rest- take a break from any activity that is causing pain or soreness.
- Ice- apply an ice pack immediately for 10-20 minutes as needed, using a towel to protect your skin.
- Compression- wrap the injury to help decrease swelling.
- Elevation- elevate the injury, at or above your heart if possible, which will also help minimize swelling.
5. Seek professional medical care
If you have an injury that is causing serious pain, swelling for more than 48 hours, or extreme stiffness, schedule an appointment with an orthopaedic specialist.
Schedule an appointment at Monrovia Internal Medicine & Primary Care if you have questions about an injury, chronic symptoms, or treatment options.