With the warm weather approaching, people are getting outdoors and becoming more active. Accordingly, the health care profession is gearing up to start treating summer-related injuries. Adults and children are both getting outdoors and being active more with the changing of the seasons and whenever people are more active, the more likely they are to get hurt. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “More injuries occur during the summer months than at other times of the year. In addition, injuries are much less frequently reported near the end of the calendar year.”
One of the reasons for Spring and Summer injuries is the quick transition from being indoors and inactive to being outside and exercising. The muscles, tendons, and ligaments are not used to producing and transmitting force which can result in either traumatic injury (like a sprain) or an overuse injury (like shin splints). Either way, you could be trading your summer of fun in for a summer of Physical Therapy.
Here are two ways you can do to help avoid summer injuries:
This is the #1 way to help avoid injury during activity. It doesn’t matter if it is yard work or a pick-up game of basketball, spending five minutes could save you weeks of recovery. Warm-ups not only prepare your muscles to contract better, they also improve your nervous system function, cardiovascular health, and will actually help you perform your task at a higher level. So if you are looking for a leg up in your backyard ultimate frisbee game, take the time to warm up If you are unsure about what a proper warm-up routine looks like, here is a good instructional video from YouTubers TheLeanMachines.
Spend 3 weeks going slow
If you are trying to get back into shape over the summer months and have been inactive for a long time, then you should spend the first three to four weeks doing lighter weight and lower intensity during your workouts. This may sound like a long time, but the biggest threat of injury comes with going to hard too soon. It is better to take three weeks and let your body accommodate to the workload. Remember, health is cooked in a crockpot, not a microwave.
Summer should be about fun, vacations, and activities. Avoid a trip to your local doctor by taking the time to avoid injuries before they happen!
Dr. Jeremiah Morgan is a licensed Chiropractic Physician as well as a Certified Active Release Technique provider. He currently practices in Downtown Matthews at Pro Active Chiropractic.