We are all starting to get antsy as we stay at home and social distance during this unprecedented time. Everyone in the household is probably ready to get back on the field. Even with the cancellation of youth sports, you can still motivate your child, have fun playing, and make sure they are ready to hit the ground running as soon as sports return.
At ORTHOKnox here in East Tennessee, we wish you a healthy, fun-filled, and injury-free spring season, but we are here for you if your child is injured while playing. Our sports medicine team, including board-certified orthopaedic surgeons and physical therapists, is available to expertly treat sprains, strains, fractures, and tears in our Knoxville or Athens clinics. We have compiled our top tips to help you prep your child so they can stay motivated and healthy!
- Keep Them Active
Without team sports, there is less opportunity for your child to get exercise. But it is extremely important that you keep your kids active, especially if they are going to jump straight into a sport as soon as the opportunity arises. Activities such as jogging, shooting some hoops, flashlight tag (no contact!), practicing in the yard, jump roping, and even trying out fitness video games (they can compete with friends online!) can help keep your child healthy and active. You can also try to contact your child’s coach to see if they can recommend a conditioning plan. Plus, do not be afraid to jump in with them! It is important for you to get your exercise, too!
- Gradual Progression
Ease your child back into their sport by increasing exercise time until you have built up to a full-length practice, gradually increasing reps or weights, and pacing them during exercise. Make sure they are getting plenty of rest in between their exercise, just like they would during a sports season. Getting enough sleep is also important for both mental and physical health. Kids from 3 to 12 years need from 10 to 12 hours of sleep, and kids from 13 to 18 years need around 8 to 9 hours.
- Prep Their Equipment
If you have not already, dig out all of their sports equipment. Check everything for holes and make sure it still fits! Also, take this opportunity to air it out and wipe it down if needed.
- Nutrition and Hydration
As always, it is key to stay hydrated. It is often easier to make sure your kids are drinking water when they are on the field, but it is just as important at home to ensure they stay hydrated. In addition, eating healthy fruits and vegetables for vitamins and minerals, along with lean protein and carbohydrates, helps them to be healthy overall and energized for playtime. Avoiding processed and sugary foods is always a good call, too!
- Get Their Heads in the Game
Make sure to always encourage your kids on and off the field. Help them to set achievable goals each day while they practice at home, such as making 20 shots, running across the yard two times in two minutes, or jogging two miles total a week. See if any of their friends can set the same goals and create fun competitions! You can even help them Facetime each other as they compete!
We hope that you all are staying safe and healthy, and understand that (like our families) you and your kids are probably getting a little stir crazy. We are here for you. With our board-certified surgeons and Urgent Orthpaedic Care that is available without an appointment, ORTHOKnox has got you covered if you or your child is injured while shaking off those social distancing jitters.
For more information about how ORTHOKnox can treat your child’s injury, call (865) 251-3030, or fill out our easy-to-use online appointment request form. We look forward to hearing from you!