This time of year is a favorite for most people, including mine! The weather is beginning to warm up, the inversion is lifting, and one could almost breathe easier! It also means that the trails and pathways we love to hike and run are also beginning to clear of snow and dry up, making our experience doing these things more enjoyable. It’s a time when many of us are starting to lace up those running shoes and hiking boots to get outside. With that in mind, it’s also a very busy time of year for clinics like ours. With the increase in activity levels around our community comes an increase in injuries, usually due to not having the proper conditioning coming out of winter. Is there something we can do now to help prevent injuries this Spring so that we enjoy being outside all summer and not rehabbing an injury? There are actually several things that you can do to prevent injuries from happening.
- Hydration. We hear patients tell us all the time that they drink enough water throughout the day. Well, that’s great, but getting a lot of water doesn’t necessarily mean your body is well hydrated. As we are running or engaging in any kind of physical activity in which our muscles are moving, sodium, potassium, and magnesium are essential to keep our muscles going during the activity. As we burn fuel and sweat, our bodies begin losing these essential minerals leading to muscle fatigue and cramping. Watch Dr. Cerami’s recommendation plan for staying hydrated.
- Electrolytes. Studies have shown that if you are running or exercising for longer than about an hour and the intensity level is up, your body really needs more than just water to re-hydrate and keep you going. Electrolytes will help replenish the minerals your body needs to keep performing. There are many different electrolyte supplements, and choosing a good quality one is important. We personally like the EFS line of products by the company First Endurance. You just pour the powdery contents into your water, shake well and get out doing the things you love.
- Potassium and Magnesium. Making sure you’re getting enough potassium and magnesium will aid in keeping you out longer and avoiding those pesky injuries. Try incorporating these options into your daily diet to get the levels you need to stay active.
- Sweet potatoes
- Pomegranate juice
- Leafy greens
- Pumpkin seeds
4. Warm-up and cool down. It’s crucial that we go through a proper warm-up beforehand to get the muscles loosened up and the blood flowing, and a proper cool down afterward to bring the heart rate back down and prevent cramping up on the way home.
- Light jog before ramping up
- Dynamic stretches instead of static stretches
If you do suffer an injury, schedule an appointment, so we can get you healthy again!