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How to Keep Your High School Athlete Injury Free

Posted by Johnson Memorial Health on Jun 12, 2019 10:00:00 AM
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As a parent, one of your top priorities is keeping your children safe. And yet, reality is that you can't protect them from every potential injury, especially if they are involved in athletics. Injuries are all too common among high school athletes ­ lower back pain from playing football or a twisted ankle from a misstep in track.

But there are some things that you can do to help prevent these injuries. Here are a few ways to keep your high school athlete injury free.

Train well

Athletes can reduce injuries by strengthening all of their muscles and adopting a daily training program designed to optimize performance and minimize the chance of injuries. Overuse injuries occur when athletes increase the frequency, duration, intensity or resistance of training too rapidly, putting too much stress on one part of the body. Consistent exercise, strength training, and cross-training can boost energy, keep muscles in shape and help prevent injury. Before any workout, athletes should warm up their muscles with stretching and light aerobic exercises. Afterward, it's important to cool down with walking and more stretching.

Strengthen weak muscles

Changing up regular exercise and resistance programs are highly beneficial. Strengthening weak muscles can prevent common sports injuries. Varying your training improves overall strength and agility, and it decreases the repetitive stress caused by doing the same activity every day. An example of cross training could be a cross country runner taking a day to swim laps to reduce the stress on their legs.

Aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise improves your ability to handle physical exertion. For best results, vary the intensity and duration of the exercise. Work really hard one day, and then go easy the next day. The main goal is gradually increase the time and intensity you spend exercising to prevent injury. No one goes from sitting on a couch to running 5 miles in one day, not even your high school student.

Nutrition and hydration

Hydration and nutrition are just as important as physical training. Aim for a balanced diet full of healthy carbohydrates, proteins, fruits, vegetables, and dairy. Click here to find more information about how to eat a balanced diet. It is especially important for athletes to drink plenty of water every day. Your body needs even more hydration when it’s working hard so athletes should be drinking water before, during, and after practices and big games.

Encourage your high school athlete to stay injury­free by getting regular exercise, making conditioning a priority, and eating a balanced diet.

If your student-athlete is injured, contact the Johnson Memorial Health Orthopedic Specialists for an evaluation.

Topics: Sports