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Injury Prevention | Injury Care | Ankle Sprain | Knee Injury | Nutritional Concerns | Water Hydration | Heat Illness | Lightning Safety

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Injury Prevention

With an active lifestyle comes the chance of sustaining an injury.  While sports are funk that good time can lead to pain if not careful.  Here are a few tips that can help prevent a sports injury:

  • Warm up and stretch properly
      • Full body warm up, such as jogging or biking, for 5-10 minutes increases blood flow and raises the temperature of larger muscle groups.
      • Stretching each muscle group and holding the streetch for at least 30 seconds.
      • Light sweat usually indicates sufficient warm up.
  • Wear properly fitted equipment Replace athletic shoes when the tread wears out or heel wears down on one side.
    • Use only appropriate protective equipment for the specific sport.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
    • Nourish muscles by eating a well-balanced diet.
    • Avoid exercise when tired or in pain.
  • Stay hydrated
    • Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after activity.
    • Don't exercise in excessive heat or humidity

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Injury Care

Unfortunately, injuries can be part of the game.  If an injury does occur, use the R.I.C.E. method - this will help control swelling and bleeding in the tissues.
  • REST
    • Allows control of the trauma and helps avoid any additional dmage to the area.
    • Keep off the injured part for at least 24 hours, if possible.
  • ICE
    • Applied promptly will help minimize inflammation
    • Ice for 15-20 minutes every couple of hours; Allow the skin to completely warm back up before reapplying ice.
    • Compress the area with an ACE wrap or bandage; Apply wrap snugly at the point furthest from the heart and gradually decrease snugness as you progress upward to the injured area.  If the wrap is too tight it could constrict blood flow and circulation to the area.
    • Elevate the injured area above the level of the heart as much as possible.
    • This position lessens swelling through gravity and lymph drainage.

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Ankle Sprain

    • Apply ice as soon as possible to limit swelling.
    • Apply an ACE wrap starting at the toes an working upward, gradually decreasing tightness; check circulation in the toes.
    • Prop the ankle up on a pillow, etc. so that it is above the heart in order to limit swelling down into the foot.
    • Try to stay off of the ankle as much as possible; If you must be weight bearing, walk with as normal a gait as possible to maintain range of motion.

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Knee Injury

    • Apply ice as soon as possible to limit swelling.
    • If swelling is present, apply an ACE wrap from mid-shin working upward so that the wrap ends above the knee.
    • Gently work on range of motion as tolerated; towel slides can be performed by placing a towel under the heel and grasping the ends with both hands; slowly pull towel toward you causing the knee to bend to the point of discomfort, release back out and repeat.

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Nutritional Concerns

Fueling your body with the proper foods can help maximize your training efforts and improve overall health.

Food Sources

  • Grains: Whole grain breads, cereals, oatmeal, brown rice, whole grain pastas, crackers, and barley.
  • Fruits: Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit), bananas, kiwi, pineapple, apples, grapes, pears, peaches, plums, raisins, watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, 100% fruit juices, 100% frozen fruit bars.
  • Vegetables:  Broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, green beans, peas, corn, brussel sprouts, tomatoes, spinach, peppers (red, green, and yellow), and onions.
  • Milk/Dairy: Lowfat/nonfat milk, soymilk, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese, and frozen yogurt.
  • Protein: Skinless chicken or turkey breast, port, roast beef, eggs, salmon, tuna, shrimp, soy-based vegetarian burgers / meat alternatives, tofu, nuts/seeds, dried beans/peas, and energy bars.
  • Rule of thumb:
    • Divide a plate into three equal portions.  Fill 1/3 with grains, 1/3 witch fruits/veggies, and 1/3 with lean protein sources.  Top it off with a high-nutrient drink such as skim milk or 100% fruit juice.

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Water Hydration

People of all ages are at risk for dehydration.  Children and older adults are most susceptible and should pay special attention to the amount of fluids lost to assure they are being replaced.

Tips to stay hydrated:

  • Remember fluids throughout the day.
  • Drink at least 16 oz. of fluid 2-3 hrs. before activity;  10-20 min. before, drink another 8 oz.  For every pound lost during exercise, at lest 20 oz. of fluid should be replaced.
  • Drink during workouts; In general, drink 7-10 oz. every 10-20 min. of exercise.  For more intense workouts lasting 45-50 min., a sports drink containing carbohydrates should be considered.  Remember to drink beyond thirst!!
  • Urine should be clear/light in color=proper hydration.

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Heat Illness

  • Heat Exhaustion:  Most common; Decreased blood volume due to dehydration.  Dizziness, headache, nausea, profuse sweating, cool/clammy skin, and rapid/weak pulse are symptoms. Remove from hot environment and cool as quickly as possible.
  • Heat Cramps:  Painful spasms due to dehydration.  Prevented by proper hydration and relieved with gentle stretching, ice, and increased fluid intake.
  • Heat Stroke:  Medical Emergency.  Caused by:  body's cooling system shuts off, blood volume is so low that sweating ceased and body goes into shock.  Characterized by disorientation, unconsciousness, no sweating, hot/dry skin, rapid/strong pulse, and increased body tem.  Requires rapid cooling and immediate transportation to the hospital!
    • Recognize warning signs of dehydration
    • Allow time to acclimate to weather
    • Drink up
    • Have fluids within arms' reach
    • Don't rely on thirst
    • Drink it.  Don't pour it over your head.
    • Exercise in the morning or evening
    • Wear loose, light colored clothing
    • Allow for plenty of rest breaks

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Lightning Safety

Lightning is the most consistent and significant weather hazard that affects outdoor sporting events.  Prevention and education are the keys to lightning safety.

  • Safety Tips
    • PLAN:  Prepare an emergency evacuation route to safety.
    • IF OUTDOORS:  Avoid water, high ground, and open spaces.  Stay away from metal objects, electrical wires, fences, machinery, etc.  If lightning is striking when you are outside:
      • Crouch down.  Put feet together.  Place your hands over your ears to minimize hearing damage from thunder.
      • Avoid proximity.  Stay at least 15 feet to other people.
    • IF INDOORS:  Avoid water, doors, windows.  Do not use the telephone.  Turn off, unplug, and stay away from appliances, power tools, etc.
    • SUSPEND ACTIVITIES:  Wait at least 30 minutes from the last observed lightning or thunder.
    • INJURED JPERSONS:  Do NOT carry electrical charge.  Call 911 and immediately perform first aid procedures if qualified.
    • Count the seconds from the time you see lightning to when the clap of thunder is heard.  Divide this number by 5 to give you approximately the number of miles away the lightening is occurring.  For example, if you count 15 seconds between lightning and thunder, 15 divided by 5 equals 3 miles.

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