Keys to an Injury Free Summer

1. Pre-condition and start gradually. Begin doing the exact movements you will be doing during your sport at least a month before actually playing. Give your body a chance to gradually adapt early in the season, especially as the environment (temperature) changes.

2. Warm-up before each game. Stretch AFTER. Every time take 3-5 minutes before beginning to get your muscles, tendons, and ligaments ready for action by performing full body movements such as squats, jogging on the spot, or easy skipping. Shoulder rolls and arm circles are great to warm-up the shoulders.

3. Listen to your body. If something doesn‟t feel right, don‟t force it. If you feel that you have „tweaked‟ a muscle or joint, give it enough time to rest. Would you rather miss one game or the rest of the season?

4. Use proper, well-fitted equipment. Paying less for something that doesn‟t quite fit can make all the difference when it comes to sports injuries. Ensure all of your equipment fits you to prevent muscle imbalances and unnecessary wear and tear on joints and soft tissues. Orthotics can ensure that your feet are taken care of, which will help to protect the rest of your joints, bones, and muscles.

5. Avoid being a "Weekend Warrior". Continue training during your season, especially if you engage in sport only one or two days per week. Keep your body active by exercising regularly. This will help prevent injuries as your body will be used to activity.

*Taken from Lifewise Health & Wellness Bulletin, July 2010

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