As the track and field season is just beginning, it’s important for athletes to take preventative measures to avoid potential injuries. While these sports can be incredibly rewarding and enjoyable, they can also pose a number of risks to athletic health if proper precautions are not taken. By following safety tips and engaging in preventative care, athletes can reduce their risk of injury to help ensure that they have a safe, successful track and field season.
- Warm Up
First and foremost, athletes should make sure to warm up properly before engaging in any activity related to track and field. Stretching and lightly jogging for 5-10 minutes can help prevent strains or pulls during more intense activities. Athletes should also be mindful of their form when running or jumping to prevent over-stressing any single muscle group.
- Prioritize Recovery
Track and field athletes should try to take rest days whenever possible and listen to their bodies if they start feeling pain in any area. Taking breaks while practicing can prevent muscles from becoming too fatigued and reduce the risk of injury. After practices and meets, focus on adequate recovery– including getting plenty of sleep, healthy food to refuel, and refraining from vigorous exercise.
- Stay Hydrated
Athletes should also make sure to remain hydrated throughout their practices and competitions, as dehydration can cause muscles to become weak or easily strained. Proper hydration is especially important in hot and humid climates, as athletes are at a higher risk of heat stroke or dehydration.
- Proper Equipment
Additionally, it’s important for athletes to make sure that they have the proper equipment during track and field season. Wearing supportive footwear that is appropriate for the activity being performed can prevent injuries such as sprains, stress fractures, and strains. It’s also important to wear protective clothing and equipment whenever necessary, such as helmets or eyewear.
- Obtain Medical Clearance
Finally, athletes should be sure to obtain any necessary medical clearance before playing, especially if they have a pre-existing condition or injury. This can help ensure that the athlete is in the proper condition to participate and reduce the risk of further injury during competition.
If athletes prioritize prevention and adhere to these tips, they can have a successful track season while also keeping themselves safe. For more information about how you can help prevent injuries to have a successful track and field sports season, schedule a consultation with our sports medicine specialists here at Syracuse Area Health – Strasburger Orthopaedics.