Gearing up for Winter sports
Winter sports season is just about to start.
Here are our top 5 tips for making sure your body is prepared and ready to play sport, how to prevent injury and to stay healthy:
1. Build Fitness Levels Slowly
It’s important to start building your fitness levels before starting your winter sport. Try to increase your activity level each week leading up to starting your sport, as long as you are not experiencing any pain during or after the exercise. Do this slowly so that your body has time to adjust and you don’t pick up any injuries along the way.
2. Warm Up
Dynamic stretching means that you are stretching whilst moving, you don’t hold the stretch. This type of stretching is better for a warm-up than static stretching, as sometimes this loosens muscles and joints too much and may leave you vulnerable to injury. Dynamic stretching prepares the body for intensity and helps to improve proprioception# which can enhance performance. Examples include walking lunges, shoulder rolls, and torso rotations. The movements should be controlled, and be sure not to stretch past your comfortable range of movement.
#proprioception refers to the receptors housed in the ligament that provide stability and improve position sense.
3. Stretch after Exercise
It’s very important to stretch after exercise to improve your recovery and make sure that the muscles don’t stiffen up. It will also help to reduce post-exercise muscle soreness.
Static stretching is a really good way to improve flexibility, recover after exercise and rehabilitate injuries. Stretches should be held in a position that is comfortable, it shouldn’t cause pain but you should be able to feel ‘tension” in the muscle that you are trying to stretch. Hold these stretches for 10-15 seconds and repeat 4-6 times.
4. Stay Hydrated
Staying well hydrated will certainly help you to prevent getting injuries this season. Your chosen winter sport will dictate how much water you should be drinking.
It’s important to drink prior to, during and after sport to remain healthy and prevent dehydration. Sports drinks are generally not required or recommended unless your sport puts your body under extreme duress or you’re training as an elite athlete.
We do not recommend sports drinks for children.
5. See Your Osteopath
For a successful season, see your osteopath early on to sort out any old lingering injuries from last season so you can improve your sporting performance.