Once the long days of summer arrive, kids will race to dust off their bikes, skateboards or hit the pools. But the California Athletic Trainers' Association (CATA), suggests parents consider these stay safe tips before sending their kids and teens out to play or participate in recreational sports:
Choose Age-Appropriate Activities: Determine which activities would be appropriate for your children based on their age, skill level, ability and interest.
Fuel Up: Feed kids whole grain, low-fat and nutritious foods that will keep their bodies going strong. Heat can decrease appetite, but it's important to eat regularly, especially fruits that contain water to avoid dehydration.
Beat the Heat: Depending on where you live, the long days of summer can be brutal. Kids avoid strenuous activity during the hottest part of the day from 10 AM to 3 PM and always drink plenty of water to stay well-hydrated before, during and after each activity.
Protect the Face: Apply sunscreen products to kids' faces and lips that contain an SPF of 30 or more to help avoid sunburn.
Warm Up First: Children's muscles should be warm before starting an activity. Berardini suggests a light aerobic activity for 1-2 minutes to avoid pulled muscles or joint injuries. Moderation is the key to avoiding injury.
Control Speed: Whether in a skateboard park or on a long bike ride, kids and teens should always be aware of others and control their speed. They may be "Going for the Gold," but kids should be smart when it comes to speed to avoid injury or a collision with others.
Know When to Stop: Kids and teens should be aware of their energy level and concentration during an activity. They could risk exhaustion, heat stroke or even an overuse injury as a result of repeated action.
As a New Year dawns, health clubs across the country typically enjoy a membership boost as eager souls sign up to make good on their resolutions to "get fit."
But time and time again, enthusiastic newcomers jump into a fitness routine whole-heartedly only to wind up getting hurt, deflating ambition and impeding progress towards attaining their fitness goals.
While the benefits of an active lifestyle are certainly admirable, leaping into a new exercise regime without the proper preparation can result in debilitating injuries and painful ailments.
As with any new activity- it's essential to take the proper precautions before starting. That means working-out at your own pace, getting a proper warm-up and warm-down, listening to your body and not overdoing it, wearing appropriate attire and knowing how to use exercise machines properly.
These tips will help reduce the likelihood of getting injured and increase the chances of a happily fulfilled New Year's Resolution:
Doctor's know best - Check with your doctor first to make sure you're ready for an exercise program
Golden rule: Start slow, and build on to it - Don't just start with two hour workouts, 30 minutes is enough for beginners
Rest in between days to allow your body to recover
Wear the right gear- Those fashionable "urban sneakers" won't cut it in the gym
Speak up- If you don't know how to use a machine, ask a professional how to do so - it's better to ask and avoid injury
Never ever wear one of those plastic suits - They can cause overheating and dehydration - and just aren't necessary
Avoid ankle weights and wrist weights - They can alter your normal movement patterns and cause injury
Don't ignore pain - Feeling soreness or pain after working out is normal- feeling pain during is not - STOP
Treat your body right- You treat your car right (hopefully) - so treat your body right and give it the food, water (lots of water), and rest it needs
Warm-up first, then stretch - Be sure to break a sweat before stretching. Stretching cold muscles can actually be harmful
Warm-down- End all workouts with a cool down of light cardio and stretching to stay flexible and to keep the blood from pooling in the muscles - which can increase soreness.
Mix it up - Doing the same routine can lead to boredom and injuries
Find a buddy for motivation and support
Make it fun- Try to do fitness activities that you enjoy. Getting in shape can be accomplished by all sorts of activities like dancing, swimming, hiking, etc...
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