Although summer is the season for fun, excitement, and plenty of opportunities to spend time with friends and family, many of the approximately 6.8 million orthopedic injuries that occur across the United States each year are reported during the summer months. In order to avoid orthopedic injuries that will put a damper on your summer fun, follow these five tips to stay healthy and make the most out of the season!
Through regular endurance and strength training activities, you can effectively reduce the likelihood of sustaining an orthopedic injury as your muscles and joints become better equipped to handle the effects of high-impact activities. Stretching is also a key factor in joint safety as it promotes better flexibility and blood flow to the muscles, which allows them to absorb nutrients and discard waste products like lactic acid. Through nutrient absorption, muscles become stronger and better able to relieve joints of the shock incurred by rigorous summer activities, such as outdoor sports, hiking, and running. By engaging in low to medium impact exercises on a regular basis, you can lessen your possibility of injury during physical activity.
Maintain a Balanced Diet
Although a proper diet is only one part of a comprehensive injury prevention plan, it has an important role in helping your body to withstand various strenuous activities. As calcium is essential to muscle contraction, the body will take calcium from the bones when it does not gain enough through diet, resulting in weakened bones and leaving the body more susceptible to injury. It is also important to consume a healthy amount of dietary fats as they are essential to energy, hormone production, and nutrient absorption: all factors that help protect your muscles and joints from injury. Though the summer offers a plethora of seasonal treats, be sure to keep your diet balanced to ensure the strength of your joints.
Make Safety a Priority
As the summer months offer many opportunities for unique outdoor activities, there is consequently a greater risk of injury that correlates with the intensity of the activity. This is not to say that high-intensity activities should be avoided, but to best circumvent injury, you should always follow basic safety precautions. Popular summer activities that present the greatest risk for injury include bungee-jumping, surfing, and hiking. Though injury cannot always be avoided, you should always be aware of the right precautions to take and the safest techniques to use when having fun this summer.
Invest in Reliable Footwear
Although it is often overlooked, footwear has a significant impact on the probability of injury! By wearing shoes that aren’t suited to a particular activity, you can gradually injure different areas of the body, such as the knee, femur, shinbone, or back. When the bones and joints are not properly cushioned to absorb the shock of high-intensity activities, small fractures may form, which can easily lead to a more significant injury. No one wants to miss out on the summer fun, so be sure to use reliable footwear throughout the year, but especially during the summer when activities may involve long periods of standing, walking, or running.
Swim Whenever Possible
While swimming is undoubtedly one of the most cherished summer activities worldwide, it also has numerous benefits, especially when it comes to orthopedic health. As swimming is a low-impact activity, it increases joint flexibility and range of motion with a decreased likelihood of injury. Swimming is also the perfect way to beat the heat this summer! By engaging in low-impact activities like swimming, you can effectively reduce your chances of sustaining an orthopedic injury.
Put Your Orthopedic Health in Capable Hands at JAG Physical Therapy
With over 100 locations across the tri-state area, JAG Physical Therapy is dedicated to ensuring that you can make the most out of your summer! With physical therapy, athletic training services, and a comprehensive injury prevention program, our staff of dedicated professionals at JAG Physical Therapy is prepared to address all of your orthopedic needs, all year long. Contact us at one of our NY, NJ, or PA locations today to schedule an appointment and let us help you return to the activities you love!