Proper technique and conditioning in your sport are essential for injury prevention, but focusing on your health off the field can prepare your body to avoid and resist injuries. At ORTHOKnox orthopedic clinic, we are prepared to help treat sports injuries if you sustain one, but we are also available for consultations on injury prevention and have listed our top general health tips for athletes below. We hope these health tips help keep you in the game!
Top Off-the-field Health Tips for Athletes
Don’t forget your core
Strengthening your core can help prevent injuries on the field because your core helps maintain your balance and coordination. A stronger core can give you more control and prevent sprained ankles or accidental collisions.
Take advantage of your off-season
You will probably want to maintain your fitness during your sport’s off-season, but too much training in one sport can lead to overuse injuries, when someone performs a repetitive motion so much that it damages a muscle, tendon, bone, or cartilage. Consider trying a different sport such as swimming, biking, or a sport that primarily focuses on a different muscle group (e.g., a soccer player playing basketball).
Rest and rotate
Your body has to recover between workouts. Depending on the intensity of your workouts and exercise, consider taking a rest day every 5 days or so. If you are doing intense strength training, rotate the muscle groups you focus on. Wait at least 48–72 hours before training the same muscle group again.
A rule of thumb is to half your body weight and drink 10 oz per pound each day. So if you weigh 170 pounds, you should drink 850 oz of water per day. Aim to drink at least 20 oz a few hours before exercising and then another 8 oz 30 min before you start. Otherwise, space your water intake throughout the day.
Eat a well-balanced diet
Eating nutritious meals involves balancing protein, vitamin, fiber, and carbohydrate intake. Protein-rich foods such as meat, eggs, and dairy are especially important to athletes, as your body uses proteins to build and repair muscles and bones. Eating small healthy snacks, such as mixed nuts, veggies and hummus, and fruit, throughout the day can help keep your energy up.
Stay on a sleep schedule
Most people need 7–9 hours of sleep every night. Aim to go to bed and wake up about the same time every day so your sleep cycles can regulate. Also, if you are feeling tired, short naps can give you an energy boost.
Get Treatment for Sports Injuries in Knoxville, and Athens, TN
ORTHOKnox has orthopedic clinics in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Athens, Tennessee. With its on-site physical therapists, board-certified surgeon, sports medicine physician, and Orthopedic Urgent Care that is available without an appointment, ORTHOKnox has got you covered. Meet our team of physicians here and physical therapists here!
For more information about how ORTHOKnox can treat or help prevent a sports injury, call (865) 251-3030, or fill out our easy-to-use online appointment request form. We look forward to hearing from you!