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Preventing Sports Injuries for Weekend Warriors

Providence Sports Medicine Physicians Offer Tips.

Though the Providence orthopedic surgeons take care of professional athletes, they also see many patients who can be classified as “weekend warriors.” Often, these patients aren’t in the condition necessary to participate in the activities they’re trying to do, and the result can be injury.

To prevent sports injuries for these individuals, the Providence orthopedic surgeons have the following tips:

  • Warm up and stretch before physical activity. Cold muscles are more prone to injury.
  • Cooling down is just as important as warming up. Gentle stretching after physical activity is very important to prepare your body for the next time you exercise.
  • Stick to a consistent exercise program. Cramming all your exercise into two days is a recipe for disaster and doesn’t improve your fitness level. Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. If you’re short on time, break it up into 10-minute chunks. Moderate physical activity can include walking the dog, working in the garden, playing with the kids and taking the stairs instead of an elevator.
  • Don’t be afraid to take lessons. Whether you are a beginner or have been playing a sport for a long time, lessons are a worthwhile investment. Proper form and instruction reduce the risk of developing an "overuse" injury like tendinitis or a stress fracture.
  • Invest in good equipment. Select the proper shoes for your sport and use them only for that sport. When the treads start to look worn or the shoes are no longer as supportive, replace them.
  • Listen to what your body is telling you. As you get older, you may find you are not as flexible as you once were or that you cannot tolerate the same types of activities you did years ago.
  • Don’t try to do too much too fast. If you usually walk two miles a day and want to walk farther, don’t suddenly start walking five miles a day. Gradually increase your activity each week until you reach your goal.
  • • Be an equal opportunity exerciser. Incorporate cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility into your workout. This will help to condition your whole body, can make exercise more interesting, and varies your workout so you don’t get bored.
  • If you have or have had a sports injury in the past like tendinitis, arthritis, a stress fracture, or low back pain, consult one of the Providence orthopedic surgeons before embarking on a new fitness program. Both physicians are fellowship-trained in sports medicine and can suggest a fitness routine to promote wellness and minimize the chance of injury.

To schedule an appointment with one of the Providence orthopedic surgeons, call 913-596-3940.