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Mindful Athlete®

5 Tips for Spring Sport Preparation

April 11, 2016

Our winter season hibernation is over and it’s time to switch gears into more lively activities. But before you start participating in spring sports, be sure that you’re prepared. With these five mindful tips, you can slowly begin you training and avoid injuries.

Studies show that healthy habits decline during winter months—people exercise less frequently and eat less fruits and vegetables. Being less active in the winter can make it difficult for a person to jump directly into spring activities. The sudden increase in exercise can cause strain on the body and lead to in sport injuries, including pulled muscles and cramps.

The whole family should take proper care during spring recreational activities. In one year alone, nearly two million adults were treated for sport-related injuries in U.S. emergency departments. And among younger athletics, 2.6 million children are taken to emergency rooms for sports- and recreation-related injuries every year. As you prepare for spring recreational activities consider the helpful tips listed below.

  • Have the right foundation. Before you start exercising, commit to the basics: proper warm-ups, stretches, and cool-downs. Warming up will help blood flow through your muscles, which will prevent injuries. Gentle stretching will prevent pain and damage. And cool downs will ensure that you do not damage your warm muscles after exercising. Perfect your form to protect your muscles and joints.
  • Create an personalized exercise program. Practically each spring activity requires a different combination of conditioning exercises; so, create a unique exercise program for your needs. For instance, runners should strengthen their core and their legs. And kayakers can benefit from hip flexor stretches and shoulder workouts.
  • Vary your focus. Don’t just focus on one set of muscles—this can lead to strain and injuries. Instead try working every part of your body. Coming up with new exercise programs will also keep your training interesting and fun.
  • Stay hydrated. Water is important and it does your body good. Carry a bottle of water with you throughout the day so you can drink more. Drinking sports drinks can also help as well as vitamin water. You can make your own special vitamin water with these helpful tips.
  • Listen to your body. Meeting your training goals is important, but be sure not to strain yourself. Stay tuned in to your body’s needs. Feeling exhausted? Consider skipping a day. Lacking energy? Reconsider your diet and add more energizing foods. If you aren’t sure what your body is trying to tell you? Contact a health professional for personalized advice.
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