Wherever you are on your personal fitness journey, McFarland Sports Medicine physicians can assist in getting you where you want to go. Improving your fitness can positively impact your quality of life and overall health.
We are proud to partner with Central Iowa schools, colleges, clubs and fitness organizations. See our partners and learn how you can join us.
Strength, balance and flexibility positively impact our ability to do all activities we enjoy and need to participate in our daily lives. Aerobic exercise can help strengthen our heart and decrease the chance of many diseases that are preventable if we stay healthy. McFarland Sports Medicine wants to see you reach your fitness goals and we are here for you when you need us.
Sports Injury Prevention Tips
Follow these general tips to help prevent injuries:
Ten minutes of light jogging or cycling before practice will increase circulation to cold muscles, making them more pliable and less prone to strain or rupture. Studies have shown that an active warm-up is associated with better athletic performance than a warm-up that consists only of static stretching.
Tight muscles are more prone to injury. Tight muscles also put more stress on the attached tendons and bones, putting these tissues at risk for injury as well. Regular stretching can improve muscle flexibility. The ideal time to stretch is after your workout. Include all major muscle groups. Hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds and do not bounce.
Allow an appropriate amount of time for rest and recovery between workouts. Schedule at least 1 to 2 days off each week. It is also important to schedule an "off-season" -- a minimum of four weeks of rest from sports each year. This is easily overlooked when you play more than one sport or play one sport year-round.
Young people are more prone to dehydration and heat illness than adults, so you should not wait until you are thirsty to drink. Drink before, during, and after workouts. Drink water for exercise that lasts less than an hour. Use a sports drink for longer workouts. Avoid caffeine, juices and carbonated beverages.
Respond Promptly to Injuries
Pain is a sign of injury, stress or overuse. You should not play through pain. If pain does not resolve after a day or two of rest, consult your physician. The sooner an injury is identified, the sooner proper treatment can begin. The result is shorter healing time and a faster return to sport.
Participate in a Variety of Sports
A variety of sports provides for balanced muscle development, prevents burnout and decreases the risk for overuse injuries. Specializing in only one sport is not recommended until after puberty.
Begin New Activities Slowly
A good way to prepare for a new sport is to participate in a pre-season conditioning program. Increase distance or duration no more than 10 percent per week.
Use the Right Equipment
Be sure equipment fits properly and is in good condition. Runners should change their shoes every 300 to 500 miles. Wear orthotics during exercise if recommended by a healthcare provider. Always use appropriate head gear or body pads that fit correctly.