After a long hard winter, it’s finally spring. You may be thinking about getting back to warm weather activities such as riding your bike, hiking in the woods, or gardening. Or, you may be looking forward to sports such as golf, soccer or baseball.
It is important to keep a few things in mind before you rush out to restart your outdoor fun. Injuries can happen if you are not prepared.
Before starting up a sport or activity, remember to wear proper clothing and footwear. Always warm up before beginning, take it easy at first, and gradually increase the amount of time and intensity. Overdoing it the first time out can lead to injury. Even after you are back in the swing, don’t overextend yourself; stop to rest, especially if you are feeling any pain. Ensure proper nutrition and drink enough water to stay hydrated. Basic fitness, such as aerobic exercise, strength training and flexibility are important to avoid injury and get the most out of your activity. Sport specific training can help you avoid injuries that can result from repetitive movement.
When you are outside doing yard work and gardening it is easy to dismiss the strain you could be placing on your body. Warm up first with 10 – 15 minutes of walking and add some stretches for flexibility. Pay attention to proper ergonomics, particularly when lifting: keep your back straight and bend with your knees. Keep the load close to your body and turn by moving your feet, not twisting. Make sure the load is not too heavy and use a wheelbarrow for larger loads. When kneeling to weed or plant, use knee pads and keep your back straight.
You can be proactive by consulting with a physical rehabilitation professional for advice on training for your sport or activity. Aim Rehabilitation Centre has health professionals to assist you in making the most of your activity while avoiding injury. If you do sustain an injury they can provide individualized, multidisciplinary treatment for your recovery. Call 905 383-0123 or visit their website for more information.