At T3 Lacrosse, we are always looking for ways to help our athletes grow as athletes and individuals. We reached out to our partners at RWJ Performance Fitness for their latest athlete research.
In order to maintain or begin a more physically active lifestyle there are 3 tips and techniques that should be incorporated into your daily routine in order to prevent injury. The top 3 tips and techniques include: proper hydration, adequate footwear, and flexibility.
- Proper Hydration – Water is the largest component of the human body and equates to 45-70% of our total body weight. Interestingly, muscle tissue is composed of 75% water whereas fat tissue is only composed of 20% water. Therefore, you can see how dramatically hydration levels can affect your muscles and why water has the greatest effect on athletic/exercise performance compared to any other nutrient. Dehydration can not only lead to decreased performance and injuries such as muscle strains or pulls, but also serious health complications such as heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and even death. The best guideline is to not rely on thirst alone and to drink approximately half of your body weight a day in ounces. For example, a 200 lbs. man should drink 100 oz. of water per day. Fluid intake guidelines may also increase due to the length and type of activity, heat, etc.
- Adequate Footwear – Wearing adequate footwear for your activity is extremely important. Not only should the type of footwear be appropriate for and match the activity, but footwear should also be periodically examined for wear and tear. Footwear should be replaced approximately every 6 months (or every 300-400 miles) or if you notice any loss of tread along the bottom of the shoe. Other signs that your footwear may need replacing are the development of any muscle fatigue, shin splints, knee or other joint pain. Additional tests such as the Mid-Sole or Twist test can also be useful to determine if your footwear is providing the proper cushioning and support your activity requires.
- Flexibility – By definition flexibility is the normal extensibility of all soft tissues that allows full range of motion of a joint and optimum neuromuscular efficiency throughout all functional movements. In simple terms flexibility is what allows our joints to move freely through their full motion to produce movement of our body (squatting down to tie your shoe or reaching up to grab an object off a shelf). Flexibility can include dynamic and static stretching and when performed regularly can reduce your risk of injury by helping improve posture, correct existing muscle imbalances and joint dysfunctions, and prevent the future development of muscle imbalances.
If you are already an active individual or are looking to become more physically active in the future incorporate these 3 top tips and techniques to prevent injury into your routine and keep yourself performing at the highest level possible – and without the aches, pains, and complaints.
More About The Author: Katie Reynolds, MS, ATC, CSCS, CES
She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Rehabilitation Science with a Concentration in Athletic Training and a Master’s degree in Sports Medicine from the University of Florida. She also holds an advanced specialization from the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Corrective Exercise Specialist.