With summer fast approaching, you’re probably looking forward to getting outside, enjoying the warm, sunny weather and having fun.  Unfortunately, summertime fun brings with it the possibility of injury, especially if you’ve been cooped up all winter and aren’t in peak physical condition.

Here are some pointers designed to help you maximize your enjoyment of the season while minimizing the risks:

Start Slow

Remember, it may have been a few months or longer since you really pushed your body. Don’t jump right in thinking you’ll be able to do everything you want to do.  Take it easy.  Go slow and pay attention to the signals your body is sending you.  It’ll let you know (usually loudly and clearly) when you start to overdo it.

Don’t Forget To Warm Up!

Anytime you undertake a strenuous physical activity, a good, vigorous warmup is essential.  Start with some simple stretches and flexes to get your body prepared for the exercise ahead, whatever form it takes.  Just as important is the cooldown.  Once you’ve finished for the day, another round of stretching will help your body relax, which will go a long way toward minimizing muscle strain and pain.

Mindfulness

This one is often overlooked, but is absolutely essential.  Whether you’re running, jumping, or lifting as part of the activity you’ve got planned, be sure to pay attention to exactly how you’re moving and using your body.  Posture and form matter. If you twist or spin the wrong way, your body will be quick to let you know about it, which usually results in a sharp, sudden pain.

One of the best ways to suffer a strain or sprain is to just go full tilt, with no regard to your posture.  Doing that can put you on the sidelines for days, or even weeks.  Don’t let it happen to you!

Keeping these three simple tips in mind will help you have a safe, happy, and pain free summer.

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