Spring has finally decided to show up! It may be a little over a month late, but we’re glad to see the sun come out, the days get warmer, and signs of nature popping back up in the neighbourhood. The warm and sunny months of spring and summer are the perfect time to go outside, get active, and enjoy nature. Whether it’s joining a sports team or club like the Ottawa Tennis & Lawn Bowling club, enjoying a run outside along the river, or getting some work done out in the yard, living an active lifestyle in the summer can be enjoyable.
Safe to say there’s nothing worse than an injury to put a damper on your summer plans. However, with increased activity and exercise comes a higher risk of injuring ourselves.
Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Here are 5 simple tips to stay safe and injury-free this summer so that you can make the most of our fleeting months of sunshine and warmth.
1. Don’t pick back up where you left off.
Planning on getting back in the saddle with a sport or activity you haven’t done since last summer? Don’t pick up where you left off! Over the winter, our bodies lose some of the adaptations gained over the summer. Start slowly and easy. This allows our bodies the time needed to adapt and grow wit the new demand.
2. Slowly increase your frequency and intensity.
Sudden increases in frequency (how often you do something) as well as intensity (how hard or long you do something) are the most common ways we injure ourselves. Slowly building your exercise frequency and intensity is the safest and most effective way of preventing injuries.
3. Going outside? Don’t forget water and sunscreen!
This one’s pretty straight forward. If you’re going to be spending some time outside in the heat and sun, don’t forget to protect yourself! Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and don’t forget the sunscreen either. Even on cloudy and overcast days, the sun’s UV rays can still be harmful to our skin. Play it safe and err on the side of caution and throw some on any time you’re heading out there.
4. Get some exercises in, depending on what you’re planning to do.
You can help prevent over-use injuries like sprains and strains by doing a few tailored exercises as part of a daily routine. Planning on running? Do some hip, knee, and ankle exercises. Heading to the tennis club? Create a gentle shoulder and wrist exercise routine.
5. Set reasonable, progressive goals.
Setting reasonable and time-appropriate goals are an easy way to prevent injuries and over-exhaustion. If you haven’t run all winter, maybe singing up for that ½ marathon at the end of May isn’t the best way to go about it. Create a plan to slowly increase your intensity and frequency like we mentioned in our second tip so your body has the time to adapt and grow to the increasing demands.
Follow these 5 simple rules to help prevent injuries so that you can make the most of our spring and summer months. We hope to see you out there!