Summer is here! That means getting out on the weekends to enjoy all of the mountains, trails, and rivers around Asheville. An unfortunate side effect of all of this fun is that inevitably someone will get hurt, and the most common injuries include sprains, strains, fractures, dislocation and generalized inflammation. With so much to do in this fabulous city, here are a few tips to keep you and your family safe.
- Consult your health care provider before starting any exercise regimen. It is important to be aware of any musculoskeletal conditions and/or prior injuries and surgeries.
- Proper equipment. Ensure that you have the appropriate shoes and gear for whatever exercise you are undertaking. Proper shoe wear can minimize injuries to the ankles, knees, and hips!
- Take it slow, don’t increase intensity too quickly. Don’t increase the duration or intensity or your activity by more than 10% each week. Pulled muscles, cramps and serious sports injuries are just a few conditions that can strike if you do too much at first.
- Know your limits. You cannot go from an amateur to a marathon runner in 1 week!
- Always warm up. Ten minutes of walking or light jogging, combined with some light dynamic stretching is an effective way to prepare your body for upcoming exercise and minimize injuries to your major joints.
- Exercise during the week. The American Heart Association recommends regular exercise for 30 minutes five days per week.
- Listen to your body. If your muscles or joints become sore, back off of exercise and rest. The “no pain, no gain” motto does not apply here and can lead to a more serious injury. If pain persists despite a period of rest, get in with an orthopedic provider for a checkup.
- If you suspect an injury, go to your orthopedic provider! Even if you do everything that you are supposed to do, injuries still can happen and should be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible.