It’s hard to be bored when the weather is so fine – especially in Minnesota. All around the state, folks are cramming as many activities and events as they can into a seemingly ever-shrinking window of snow-free weather!
Summer activities are all about the outdoors – hiking, climbing, and swimming reign supreme. They can also end in aching bones, sore muscles, and unwanted –and often unexpected – injuries.
A little know-how and preparation can go a long way to ensure you spend your summer having fun instead of recovering from an injury.
Common Summer Injuries
When the water isn’t frozen, it’s exactly where we want to spend our time! Fishing, skiing, and boating are common pastimes in our area. Beware of slippery docks and boat decks when heading out to do some fishing.
Especially at peak summer when the sun is at its hottest, swimming is a great way to stay active and get a good workout. We’ve all heard the old adage “Wait 30 minutes after eating before getting into the water” from our mothers, but swimmers are especially subject to other injuries. Tennis elbow, rotator cuff injuries or ligament tears are common injuries around the water.
Tendinitis is a common injury that develops in the summer. More people are out and about running, cycling, and competing in all sorts of sports. Incorrect technique, poor preparation, or overuse can result in tendinitis. Think of it in terms of its common nickname: “Weekend Warrior Syndrome”. Working too hard without preparing your body is never a good idea.
Sprains and Strains
It’s fun to discover new, exciting places in the summer. Our state is full of parks, hiking paths, and new areas to explore. It’s common to be exploring a new area and experience that stomach-dropping sensation of catching your foot on a tree root and realizing you’re about to take a tumble. Suddenly, you’re in a majestic forest with a sprained ankle.
Preventing Summer Injuries
Get The Right Gear
Don’t want to roll your ankle on that tree root or slip on an especially wet boat landing? Wear the right footwear! Hiking boots with ankle support or boat shoes with extra grip can make all the difference. You should also think about headwear – like sun hats, helmets, and visors – as well as life jackets, extra pads, and clothing. The right fabric can mean the difference between a fun kayaking trip or a week of nursing sunburnt shoulders.
Speaking of which – don’t forget the sunscreen and bug spray!
Stretch it Out
Stretching muscles and warming them up before getting active is the simplest way to prevent injuries – whether it be in the summer or year-round. Whichever muscle groups you plan on using that day, stay limber and ready for fun.
Obvious but important summer tip: drink plenty of water! Summer means stronger sun rays, which means more sweating. Sweat means your body is dehydrated. Carry your trusty water bottle with you always. This not only prevents dehydration, but helps your muscles be at their very best!
The “wait 30 minutes rule”, by the way, prevents cramps. Is it a strict rule? No, not really, but it’s still good advice to wait 30 minutes after eating before doing any strenuous activity. A good rule of thumb: Listen to your mother.
The specialists at 360 Chiropractic can help you get active in your favorite summer activities with confidence. If you are recovering from an injury or have cause for concern, consult your physician or physical therapist before getting to active.