Spring Conditioning 101

As the weather warms up, athletes everywhere are coming out of their seasonal hibernation to get back in shape for spring and summer sports. Although frequent exercise is strongly encouraged for optimal health, spring conditioning can pose serious threats to the spring and summer athletes who have been inactive throughout the winter.

The doctors of Sierra Pacific Orthopedics offer the following tips and advice on warming your body up for exercise so that you aren’t left warming the bench.

GET IN GEAR – Use proper equipment and active-wear. Replace worn out athletic shoes and wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.

STRETCH – Stretch your muscles before any exercise, practice, or competition. Stretching is something you can never do too much of, and it significantly reduces your risk for straining or pulling a muscle.

WARM UP – The importance of warming up the muscles before a workout cannot be over-emphasized. Allow yourself a few minutes of light cardio before your workout to ease your body into activity.

COOL DOWN – Cooling down after a workout can be just as important as warming up. Jumping in and out of intense workouts can increase your risk for muscle and ligament injuries.

STAY HYDRATED – Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout. Staying hydrated will significantly reduce your risk for pulled muscles and dehydration.

TAKE A BREAK – When needed, take a day off from working out to give your body enough time to recuperate and recover. “No pain, no gain” may be a popular training mantra, but too much pain can mean no game at all! If your workout is becoming a little too intense, listen to your body’s natural cues, and slow it down.

BE PREPARED – Athletes who have been inactive all winter are at a much higher risk for experiencing a spring training injury. Ideally, athletes should ease into conditioning 4-6 weeks before training begins. Fitness programs should include cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises.

Please call the doctors at Sierra Pacific Orthopedics at (559) 840-3667 for any questions you may have about spring conditioning. For more health news and tips from Sierra Pacific Orthopedics, “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.