Springtime in Atlanta is packed full of perfectly sunny days, outdoor activities, and an increasing interest in exercise and healthy living.
We have a lot to look forward to this spring: The continued growth of the BeltLine, Krog Street Market, and the spring festival circuit – all of which will surely get people outside and moving. Beyond these awesome community offerings, we will be showered with beautiful sunny days and days that beg for us to throw the frisbee, take a jog, play tennis, or play a game of kickball in the park.
Sure, it’s quite possible that I am showing signs of premature excitability regarding the spring – especially given that we will drop to freezing temperatures yet again tonight. However, now is the perfect time to start planning for your spring awakening and prepare to enjoy the warmer months injury-free.
After a long winter of reduced activity you might be tempted to charge outdoors and exercise at the same level you did at the end of the last season. But such enthusiasm often leads to early season injuries. Any time you’ve cut back on your routine, it is best to get back up to speed slowly.
Here are some tips for avoiding sports injuries as you increase your exercise this spring:
- Ease into it. Start slowly and be sure to properly warm up your muscles. Increase intensity gradually over the course of a few weeks.
- Listen to your body. Pay attention to what your body is communicating. Anything more than generalized soreness during or post exercise can be a sign of a larger problem.
- Cross train. Balance your exercise routine; don’t do too much of one thing.
- Have fun. Don’t be too hard on yourself. It could take as long as 6 weeks to re-establish a solid fitness base. Just getting moving is already a huge accomplishment.
- Integrate bodywork. A recent study shows massage therapy can reduce inflammation after exercise, in turn reducing the pain that might accompany a new work out plan. The same effects can be achieved through use of a foam roller.
As you start to increase the frequency and intensity of your routine, watch out for these common springtime injuries:
- Hamstring strain
- Ankle sprain
- Shin splints
- Knee injury
- Tennis elbow
- Groin pull
- Rotator cuff strain
If you run into any problems this spring, please contact me right away. The sooner that we can start treating your injury, the faster and better you’ll heal — and the quicker you’ll be able to get back outdoors and enjoying the fun in the sun!