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Tips To Avoid Sports Injury

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Participation in sports offers students a tremendous amount of social, emotional, and physical benefits.  But one of the worst things that can happen while being involved in sports is sitting on the sidelines with an injury.

As parents and coaches, here are a few simple ways to reduce preventable sports injuries.

Prepare Your Student Athlete Before They Play

In the case of an emergency, parents should provide coaches with information such as emergency contacts and important medical information.  And before your student athlete hits the field, you should make sure they receive a pre-participation physical performed by a physician.

A comprehensive sports physical includes:

  • A review of medical history
  • Full physical examination
  • Examination of joint flexibility, posture, and overall strength
  • Administer or update any necessary vaccinations

Get the Right Gear

Some sports require specific equipment that is used to prevent and reduce the severity of injuries.  Be sure to find appropriate and form-fitting sports gear to prevent and reduce the severity of injuries.  Some common sports gear to consider include:

  • Helmets
  • Gloves
  • Shins guards
  • Mouth guards
  • Ankle braces
  • Shoes with rubber cleats
  • Sunscreen

Warm Up and Cool Down for Practices and Games

Some injuries are brought on because athletes are not properly conditioned for the activity.  Make sure to warm up with a light jog for about 15 minutes, and stretch major muscle groups before and after games to release muscle tension and prevent injuries.

Stay Hydrated

Be sure to drink enough fluids throughout the day and stay hydrated before, during, and after play.

If you’re a parent, be sure to pack extra bottles of water for practices or games.  If you’re a coach, establish a mandatory water break throughout practice and games – don’t wait for your athletes to say they’re thirsty and need a break.

Know the Common Injuries

Accidents are inevitable, but many times, sports injuries can be prevented.  Some sports injuries don’t show a physical wound to determine if an athlete has been hurt.  It’s important to be able to easily recognize common sports injuries and signs of injury such as:

  • Dehydration
  • Concussions
  • Severe Bruising
  • Muscle Fatigue
  • Ankle Sprains
  • Hamstring Strain
  • Shin Splints
  • ACL Tear
  • Tennis Elbow

The most important part of playing any sport is to play by the rules, avoid aggressive behavior, and have fun!

 

 

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March is National Nutrition Month

meat-569073_640National Nutrition Month, held annually during the month of March, was created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, to raise awareness on the importance of making smart food choices and improving overall physical health.

This year’s theme is “Put Your Best Fork Forward,” a simple reminder to make every meal choice count.

By making small changes to your diet now, you can improve your overall health that leads toward a healthy future.

Here are a few ways that you can “put your best fork forward.”

  1. Practice mindful eating: Pay close attention to what you’re eating, when you’re eating, portion sizes, and how you feel before and after every meal. Some of the benefits of practicing mindful eating include learning to eat only when you’re hungry, learning that unhealthy food isn’t as tasty as you originally thought it would be, and learning to fully taste and enjoy healthier food options.
  2. Know your calories: Using apps that track your calories are a great way of monitoring your daily calorie intake and tracking your progress. You can also keep a food diary of what you eat and the time of day you’re eating.  You can also use this a way to practice mindful eating by recording how you feel after every meal in your food diary.
  3. Change your diet: This should be a given. Every healthy diet avoids refined grains like white rice and white bread, processed meats, as well as limits red meat, cheese, and added salt and sugar.  Eat a variety of whole grains, food high in protein such as fish, poultry, beans, and nuts.  Also, be sure to limit your salt intake by using substitutes like spices and herbs, and remove added sugar in meals and beverages. salad-791891_640

At Medallus/After Hours Medical, our doctors are dedicated to making sure patients are educated about their overall health.  One of our many services includes an annual physical exam, where we look over your health history, check your vitals, and perform necessary lab tests.

After your exam, our doctors will discuss with you your overall goals and openly communicate and encourage healthy lifestyles habits.

For more information about our comprehensive medical services, be sure to visit any of our nine locations and our medical professionals will be more than happy to assist you on your journey toward healthy living.