We get it. Summer vacation coming to an end is a big bummer. We aren’t really stoked about it either. But, that means pumpkin spice season is just around the corner.
Did we say pumpkin spice season? We meant fall sports season.
Bring on the cool Fall afternoons watching a cross country meet, crisp Fall nights watching soccer, and the loud Friday nights spent cheering on the local football team.
We know you’re just as excited about fall sports season as we are. But, hold your horses.
After a Summer spent relaxing at the lake and going to the afternoon matinee of the latest Summer blockbuster, hitting the field or court full force right off the bat can be dangerous.
We’re all for living the mantra Go Big or Go Home, but sometimes going big too fast means going to the hospital before you go home.
So, before you or your kid goes big this Fall, you’ll want to read the following 8 tips to ensure a safe, healthy and hopefully injury free sports season.
Get a Physical
Even if you eat an apple a day (to keep the doctor away), you should still get a sports physical before you start the season. Not only is this typically required by the school/sports organization, but it makes sure you are healthy enough to even play sports in the first place. If there is anything wrong, it will keep you from injuring yourself further.
Ease Into It
After spending the Summer relaxing, jumping straight into an intense sports practice will most certainly do more harm than good. Start easing back into physical activity a couple weeks before practice starts, so you can go full bore when the season begins.
Sweat Good. Dehydration Bad.
Staying hydrated is critical in maintaining peak performance and safety, especially during hot August practices. Drink before you are thirsty and make sure you replenish your body after a difficult practice with water or a sports drink designed to help with hydration. Pro tip: low fat chocolate milk helps the body replenish itself after a practice.
Stretch it Out
Most practices begin with a warmup, but if yours doesn’t you need to make sure to take the proper time to stretch before you start playing. According to experts, a good stretch should be dynamic, should not go beyond the point of resistance, and should be held for 10-12 seconds. Don’t forget to stretch after practice too.
Don’t Play through the Pain
Are you or your kid a pro? Didn’t think so. Playing through the pain is only something pros should consider. To be honest, it doesn’t make you look tough, it makes you look…We’re going to stop there. Momma always said if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. We will say though, playing through the pain will only cause your injury to get worse. Listen to your body and doctor. An injury that may keep you out for a couple weeks with the right rehab could put you out for a season if you ignore it.
Check the Field/Court
We recommend getting the lay of the land or court before you practice or play your sport. If you’re on a court, make sure there isn’t any standing water, etc. If you are on a field, check for divots or holes that could cause a sprain or fracture. Fun fact: the writer of this blog broke his ankle after tripping over a hole while practicing soccer. Not so fun fact: he missed the entire season of soccer. Moral of the story: Check the field.
Considering the fact that repeated concussions can lead to long term issues, sports organizations have really started cracking down on preventing concussions and mandatory check-ups and time off the field when a player experiences a concussion. We recommend reading this guide by the CDC to get acquainted with the signs and symptoms of a concussion: https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/pdfs/highschoolsports/coach_guide-a.pdf.
Use the Right Gear
Finally, make sure you invest in the right gear. Yes, invest. We know that sometimes the proper gear can cost an arm and a leg but, trust us, it is way cheaper than a trip to the emergency room.
While we’re on the topic of gear, don’t forget to invest in a pair of Zelus Olympus Insoles.
Thanks to our legendary SmartCells Cushioning Technology, not only will Zelus Insoles enhance your performance, they provide you with the impact reduction and support you need to prevent injuries as well.
Our insoles are specifically engineered with design elements and materials taken right from a high-class, fully functional orthotic — just like the ones professional trainers give to their athletes.
By leveraging the deep orthotic roots of Fastech Labs, Zelus Olympus insoles support your feet where they will function best. And when your feet are correctly in place, there is no stopping you from performing at your highest possible level.
Ready to feel the zeal? Click here to order your pair of Zelus Olympus Insoles.