With most winter sports nearing the business end of the season, we want to give you a few tips to keep your body in tip-top condition and prevent injuries from stopping you playing the sports that you love!
Perform adequate warm ups
Just like a race car tyre that needs to be warmed up before a race, your muscles need to be able to accustom themselves to the movements that are specific to your sports!
Make sure to incorporate dynamic stretches into your warm up program, and drills that are specific to your sport.
Tapes and braces that you commonly see on AFL athletes aren’t simply there for show! They are applied to restrict/protect specific movements from happening as a result of an existing injury.
For some conditions, taping/bracing can be an effective way to protect joints and decrease the risk of an injury recurring. Remember, not every joint can be taped/braced, and it does not guarantee you will avoid an injury. If you are wondering whether this would be helpful, ask your physio. Generally, this approach should be matched with a strengthening program which builds the muscles that control your joints.
Cool down sessions
After performing your training sessions/game day, ensure to perform light movements and stretches to give your body the opportunity to relax after a 100 minutes of adrenaline filled sport.
After all, you don’t ever see Usain Bolt come to a dead stop after completing 100m sprint in under 10 seconds!
Performing daily light exercise and stretches can be a great way to assist the body’s recovery process. Planning your week to allow suitable recovery between sport is essential for making exercise sustainable. Adequate sleep is also crucial in maintaining a fit body and an integral part of recovery.
If you are feeling brave, a quick dip in an ice bath/cold pool may also be beneficial in enhancing your recovery process, but this time of year you won’t have many people joining you.
Listen to your body
You know your body best. Without going overboard, ensure that you pay attention to small niggles or pain that you notice on your body. Often the quicker you seek advice for your injury, the quicker you can resolve it with simple strategies.
If you notice that a particular pain/injury has not been improving, it would be strongly suggested to visit your local physio to address the relevant factors.
These are just 5 simple pieces of advice to keep yourself fit for the remainder of the winter sports season. Remember to stay fit and keep moving, and if you need any help to keep up with this, just let us know. And good luck with qualifying for finals!