In the first part of this article, we looked at tips to prevent us from becoming injured while exercising or doing common types of physical activities. Although I realize that most people who are reading this article are probably adults, I thought the American Academy of Pediatrics had the best list and suggestions for preventing injuries.
Here are some additional tips:
--Strengthen your muscles. Before you get to the batter’s box for your company softball game, take some time to do some conditioning exercises during practice and before the game starts to help you get stronger.
--Increase flexibility. Have you ever noticed how everyone on your favorite baseball or basketball team will do a bunch of stretches before the game starts? This is smart thinking. Stretching can help improve and increase your flexibility.
--Give yourself a break! Rest in between the ninth and tenth hole on the course or after you mow the front lawn and before you fire up the weed whacker. Resting properly can reduce injury and prevent heat-related illness.
--Stop what you’re doing if you are in pain. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. Listen to and respect what it is trying to say. The saying no pain, no gain can lead to strain and sprain!
--Stay hydrated. Drink fluids before, during and after any physical activity. This will help prevent heat-related injury.
--Play safe and use proper techniques. The company softball game is probably not the time to show off by sliding headfirst into home plate.
What should you do if you feel pain after a workout, game or chores? If you are feeling a strain or pull in a muscle, remember the RICE technique. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. Rest your sore ankle, put ice on it, compression will help prevent further swelling and elevate it to reduce blood flow to the area.
A sports medicine Web site I found suggests that if you are experiencing severe pain or if it hangs on for more than two weeks in a bone or joint, see your doctor. For me, two weeks is a long time to be in pain. Use your judgment and feel free to call for an appointment sooner if you want. Also, if the pain radiates to another part of your body and you have a lot of swelling, or if the area is very tender when you push on it, you should call your doctor right away.
Physical exercise, no matter how we get it, is a good thing and usually leads to better health. If we do it wrong or overdo it, we’ll end up getting injured and have to curtail our activity for awhile. So play it smart and play it safe while still having fun. Your body will thank you for it!