The winter sporting season is well and truly underway here in Sunraysia- a busy time of year for many families getting to and from training, events/competitions and games.
This time of year brings another set of challenges for the people participating in sports and activities-
this being a more easily compromised immune system due to the cold weather. In
combination with the fatigue that activity can bring, this can play a huge part in someone becoming unwell or injured.
So how do we prevent these injuries and illness? The key is to ensure that you have plenty of good quality sleep, a nutrient packed diet with adequate hydration and to the pre and post-match/game/competition recovery is being performed.
This can be a challenge, as the one thing this all requires is time- but if you make the time and put in the effort, your body will thank you for it and you will notice the difference long-term.
In some more detail specifically for preventing injuries- if you are mid game and something occurs that may involve you feeling like you have injured an area, then go with your gut instinct and stop. You may not feel too sore at the time, but you can increase your chances of creating further tissue damage- which may only be minor, but that can instantly become a lot more serious if you push on and continue to participate- especially if you have injured that area before, meaning a longer recovery time and in the more serious cases, significant time away from the activity that you enjoy.
If you only have “niggles” or areas that are noticeably tight or giving you a bit of grief, do not ignore those! They too need attention- otherwise they would not be on your mind.
Ensure you perform some sort of recovery- this being some or a combination of stretching
thoroughly, using recovery tools such as foam rollers, spikey balls, tennis balls, water immersion or heat depending on your preferences, to help with managing muscle tension.
Regular treatment can also be very useful for anything that may linger beyond these
recovery techniques and help keep you moving long term. These are the more physical
methods to assist recovery- there may be other gaps such as inadequate nutrition whereby certain nutrients such as vitamins or minerals may be lacking or not enough sleep for example.
This may seem like a lot of work, but the key is to keep you performing the activities you love. At the end of the day, the science states that exercise or movement is the key to life and that prevention is far better than a cure!