School’s out, summer’s in! Children everywhere are getting ready to spend more time outdoors and enjoy the warm weather, specifically participating in sports such as swimming and baseball. Even though school’s over, here are some tips to you can learn to make sure your child is in tip-top shape to play.
Before performing any rigorous activity, make sure to ease your child into it by building up their endurance and strength. In an interview by Baraboo News Republic with athletic trainer Betsy Kerrigan, Kerrigan says to “give your body time to adapt to new activities and the physical stress you’re placing on it.” She advises to warm up before and cool down after a workout in order avoid injuries. More importantly, she recommends the “10 percent” rule, where you increase the intensity of the workout by 10 percent until achieving the necessary physique for a particular sport.
- Food, water, and gear
Having enough energy is also important. Proper hydration and nutrition are important in avoiding heat-related illnesses, which, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, is the leading cause of death and disability among high school athletes. A well-balanced diet consisting of fluids, proteins, and carbs with low amounts of fatty foods will ensure your child will have enough energy to get through the summer.
Along with proper nutrition, gear is necessary for your child’s safety. For example, if your child enjoys running, especially on concrete, make sure to have shoes that minimize the impact and decrease the risk for joint injuries; the same also goes for hiking. Before heading out on bike rides, make sure the bike is properly adjusted. Sunscreen is also helpful, especially when expecting to be outside for long periods of time. In an article about having a successful summer, physical activity specialist Rachel DeHaven says that having a list before leaving the house may help to ensure that all proper food, water, and gear are packed up and ready to go.
Although your child is eager to play outside, it is important to rest so that the body can recover from a day of intense activity; being well-rested replenishes the energy required for the following day. If your child does get an injury, resting and allowing the body to heal is crucial to overall health and future play. In addition, taking a breather helps in mentally processing what has happened throughout the day. Make sure to check up on your child about how an activity is doing and to encourage them to talk about their thoughts and/or concerns; this helps to enhance their overall mental well-being.
These tips seem obvious now, but many tend to forget, and it is important to always keep these in mind before something bad happens; being vigilant and diligent are key steps to prevention. Remember to stay safe, but to also take time and have fun with your children!