sports

To be physically active is advised throughout the whole year, although it’s true that summer weather lures people toward sports more than any other season. Whether it’s to get in shape, spend some quality time with family and friends or a sunny afternoon out in nature, you should be aware of all the possible injuries to be able to avoid them. Some might underestimate the warm-up prior to a physical activity or the fact that you cannot push your body to extremes if you know that the whole year you were passive rather than active. You should always know your fitness level and your limits. Another important thing to consider is the weather and sportwear/sport equipment.

Weather

Exercising leads to an increased body temperature and the organism begins to sweat in an attempt to cool down the core of the body. This is a natural process, however, doing sports in hot weather will exaggerate this process so our body loses more fluids than usual, therefore, it is extremely easy to end up dehydrated with an overheated organism. You might experience head spinning, nausea and feeling extremely fatigued. If you experience any of these, rest in a shaded area and drink lots of fluid with slower tempo. Pure water is the best option for overheating. Try to drink a sufficient amount throughout the entire day, not only while exercising.

Let’s not forget about rainy and stormy days. If you decide to go for a hike in nature and get caught in rain, terrain becomes slippery and unpredictable. Falls and slips do not have to be serious, but it’s definitely easier in such conditions to sprain your ankle or bruise your tail bone when landing on your buttocks. Tracking and hiking shoes are important. Despite the weather being warm, it is wise to wear proper sturdy high-ankle boots. Do not underestimate sprains and bumps. It’s always better to go to A&E if the swelling is very obvious and there might be bruising as well, just to rule out a possible fracture. In the middle of nowhere, a travel first aid kit would come in handy to treat any minor scratch and prevent the wound from becoming infected, right?

Running

This activity seems very natural to us and on top of this, it’s cheap and accessible to anyone, anywhere. I guess it won’t surprise you to learn that after regular sunburn, running injuries are the most common summer sport-related injuries. From minor muscle strains and tears, to overuse injuries and stress fractures. The best advice here would be to increase the mileage and frequency of the running sessions gradually. For example, if during the year you only used to run for about 20 minutes on a treadmill in the gym as a cardio warm-up once a week, you cannot suddenly run 5K every day. Start with a 30 min run, and have 1-2 recovery days before your next session. If you haven’t been running at all, start only with a run up to 20 min with your comfortable tempo. Do not try to push hard from the beginning, because that will only keep pulling you backwards. You will get good at this, remember, consistency is the key. Push yourself, but gradually. Each run you may add on time/distance, whatever you are tracking, and frequency of your runs as well. Make sure to do proper warm up – dynamic stretches, prior to run, and stretch straight afterwards – static stretch. During hot days, always carry a bottle of water with you while running, and perhaps wear a cap to protect yourself from the direct sun.

Cycling

This is another easy-to-access summer sport activity. Cyclists mostly suffer with knee pain, commonly experienced after a sudden increase of milage and/or load. This is your body’s way of asking you to slow down. If the pain does not resolve with resting or decreasing the load, see a physiotherapist. Other factors that can cause knee/hip pain while cycling is an inappropriate seat level, it might be too low or too high. If you are not sure about this, you can ask your physiotherapist or a person in a bike shop for advice.

Take home tips:

  • Stay hydrated, particularly during warm days
  • Know your fitness level and your limits
  • Do not underestimate a warm-up
  • Stretch out after the physical activity
  • Build up on the load and frequency GRADUALLY
  • Pushing too hard and too fast keeps pulling you backwards
  • Wear sturdy high-ankle shoes for hiking/walking trips despite warm weather
  • Pack a travel first-aid kit when going to nature into your backpack
  • Make sure your bike seat has a good level

If you believe you may be suffering from a summer sport related injury or any kind of pain/condition, why not book a FREE 15-minute discovery visit with a physio?

In this complimentary visit you will have a chance to speak to us about your needs/and or condition/concerns and he will let you know if physio is right for you.

To book an appointment or a discovery visit, call us on:0207 636 8845