Injury Prevention

Beat Summertime Injuries

Summer is a great time to start exercising or to take those indoor workouts outdoors. Along with exercising outdoors come summer injuries. Here are seven steps to prevent common summer injuries.

1. Stay Hydrated

It is hot and sunny; the fluid loss can be large. Drink 8 to16 ounces of fluid (water or electrolyte drink, not caffeinated beverages) for every 30 minutes of exercise. Helpful tip: weigh yourself before and after exercise (with as little on as possible) for every pound difference you are 2 cups of fluid low.

2. Stay Cool

The heat can cause heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion symptoms are heavy perspiration, weakness, and cold, pale and clammy skin. Fainting and vomiting are possible. People can collapse, with or without loss of consciousness, largely resulting from the loss of fluids and electrolyte imbalances (i.e., loss of sodium). Heat stroke symptoms are hot, dry, and red skin (hyperpyrexia). Heat stroke is often preceded by heat exhaustion and its symptoms. A person can have rapid heartbeat, confusion, loss of consciousness. Loss of consciousness is the final stage in heat exhaustion, when the body is unable to lose heat. Body temperature exceeding 106 degrees can be fatal. Cooling is very important. To prevent heat illness pay attention to the heat index. See the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration web site for more information. If it is low, it is not posted for your town.

The standard warnings are:
Caution: Fatigue possible Heat Index less than 90
Extreme Caution: Sunstroke, and/or heat exhaustion possible Heat Index 91-103
Danger: Sunstroke, and/or heat exhaustion likely Heat Index 104-127
Extreme Danger: Heat Stroke or Sunstroke likely Heat Index greater than 127

People should not exercise during “danger” or “extreme danger” time periods.

3. Warm Up Those Muscles

Dynamic warm-up exercises will help prevent injury. Here is the USTA dynamic warm-up (PDF). It is good for other sports too.

1. Jogging with arm circles
2. Side steps with arm crosses
3. Carioca drills
4. Knee hug lunge
5. Inverted hamstring drill
6. Backwards lunge
7. Leg cradle
8. Straight-leg march
9. Lateral lunge
10. Trunk rotations
11. Backwards step-overs
12. Arm hugs

4. Play Safe

Trampoline injuries and swimming (drowning or near-drowning) are two summer injuries that can be avoided. Make sure the trampoline has the proper equipment and it is in good repair. Never leave children unattended at the pool. Drowning and near drowning injuries can happen in seconds.

5. Wear a Helmet

With activities such as bicycling, motorcycling, driving an ATV or skateboarding, helmets prevent injuries. Elbow and knee pads can help prevent many skateboard injuries.

6. Develop Baseline Fitness

You should spread out your exercise over the week don’t try to cram it all into one day. The recommended amount is three to five days, 30 to 60 minutes, moderate activity. If you need help with exercise guidelines go to ACSM web site on “Exercise is Medicine.”

7. Have Fun!

People exercise more when they do activities they enjoy. So go biking, jogging, walking, dancing, swimming do whatever exercise you like.