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Summer is right around the corner. It might not feel like it when we wake up to single digit temperatures, but the days are getting longer, and the grass is getting greener. 

For a lot of people, that means spending more time outdoors, and being more active. I am a huge proponent of people being more active in general, and if you fall into that category, I am rooting for you! Get after it!

I also want to make sure you don’t end up with any injuries that are quite common amongst recreational athletes. To that end, I’ve put together a few simple tips to help you avoid hurting yourself while doing the things you love to do.

These apply whether you’re going for a bike ride or a run, hitting the driving range or pickleball courts, doing some heavy lifting in the garden, or anything else that gets your muscles working.


Starting an activity without warming up is a great way to get yourself injured, or at least feel incredibly sore for the next few days. I know this, because two days ago I went for a jog with the dog my parents are fostering, and because I didn’t follow my own advice, my legs are still killing me. Lesson learned.

A warm up doesn’t have to be elaborate or time-consuming. Neck rotations, arm circles, spinal twists, hip circles, gentle leg swings, and ankle circles can form the foundation of your warm up. Basically, you just need to get your blood flowing to your muscles and other connective tissues. so that you *literally* WARM UP your body. This also warms up your heart and gets it pumping a bit faster so that you’re not going from 0 to 60 when you start your activity. 


This may seem like common sense, but I’ll say it anyway: if you haven’t participated in an activity in several months, don’t go all out the first couple of times you do it. 

If you haven’t done any running since November, don’t start this season’s running training with a half-marathon trail run. If you haven’t played golf since the fall, hit the driving range a few times before playing a full round. Let your body get accustomed to the movements and the stresses of the activity before you go all out.


The cool down is the most neglected part of any workout or activity, but it’s as important as the warm up if you don’t want to feel sore the next day. This goes double if you’re over 35. Take some time after your activity to do some GENTLE passive stretching. “Passive stretching” refers to holding the stretch rather than moving in and out of it.

Body parts that are especially prone to tightness include:

Holding a gentle, 1 minute stretch (no more than 30% effort) in these areas can greatly reduce soreness and stiffness. It can also help you maintain your mobility as you get older.

Do not overlook the cool down. Try to do it while your body is still warm from activity. 

Your body can do amazing things, if you give it the treatment and support it needs. Make sure to also stay hydrated and well-nourished, and above all, ENJOY YOURSELF!

#injuryprevention #summersports #personaltraining #prehab #warmup

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