Kids and teenagers are becoming more involved in sporting activities than even before. From intense running obstacle races like the Tough Mudder, high school recreational sports or community swimming classes, the number of opportunities to stay active are endless. An athlete’s first priority should be to reduce the chances of injury and get healthy, but that is often, not the case. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), high school athletes account for an estimated 2 million injuries and 500,000 doctor visits as well as 30,000 hospitalizations each year! Whether you are a competitive athlete or a “just for fun athlete”, there are a variety of methods to reducing injury, becoming healthy and staying fit. Here are a couple tips we encourage:
- Warm up – Warm up your muscles by jogging and then stretching to prevent injuries.
- Wear protective gear – Contact sports require special gear to keep you safe. Make sure that your helmets, shoes and pads all fit!
- Eat healthy – Foods that are high in nutritional quality will improve an athlete’s ability to recover, heal and perform. Athletes should consume enough nutrients to maintain their weight.
- Drink water – Water is very important. Athletes need to stay hydrated before, after and during their performances. Dehydration is risky to your health. yYou need to drink enough water to replace the fluids you lost during your workout.
- Take vitamins – Get the vitamins you need! Vitamins will help reduce pain, promote healing and strengthen scar tissue depending on which vitamins you take.
- Don’t train in pain – If you are in pain, stop training/performing and see your chiropractor or doctor. We believe that you start with a conservative level of care then move up to more complex treatments if needed. See Hierarchy of Care
- Cross train – Cross training strengthens muscles, increasing flexibility and endurance in athletes. Long-distance runners could cycle, basketball players could swim. No matter what sport you partake in, cross training will strengthen your entire body.
- Sleep – Sleep is a vital process of recovery for the body. Lack of sleep can decrease performance, so make sure you are getting at least eight hours of sleep.
- Get chiropractic care – Chiropractors are trained and licensed to treat the neuromusculoskeletal system. They also are educated on sports training, sports injuries, nutrition and injury prevention.