Get Ready for Summer Sports
Sunshine and warmer weather may inspire you to get outside and play — but sports injuries can put you on the sidelines. Be smart — prepare your body for summer activities, and you’ll be more likely to stay in the game all season.
- Work up a sweat. Brisk walking, jogging, bicycling, and swimming are great ways to get conditioned for any kind of sport. Start out slowly and gradually build up to at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week of cardiovascular exercise.
- Stabilize your core. If you have back pain, ask your healthcare provider for specific exercises that will help stabilize your core — your spine, pelvis, and supporting muscles. Otherwise, try some abdominal and back exercises.
- Strengthen and stretch. Lift weights, try elastic bands or tubing, or even use your own body weight to boost upper– and lower–body strength 2–3 times a week. Include flexibility training after your cardiovascular and strength exercises at least 3 times a week.
- Be specific. Whether it’s fast directional changes or hand–eye coordination, the more you practice sport–specific skills, the more proficient you’ll become. Find training drills online or at your local library.