How to Play Sports with Your Children and Avoid Injuries

Posted on June 19, 2020

By Alena Walrath, PTA 

Not only have parents and caregivers played an important role in helping children with online learning and homework the past few months, but they have also been stepping up to the roles of teammate and coach. With fitness centers closed, we’ve had to get creative when it comes to getting exercise. Playing sports with your children is a great way to have fun together and model the importance of physical activity. Before jumping into a game, here are a few things to consider:

 

Have you been working out regularly? 

With disruptions in your normal work and fitness routines, you may not be getting the amount of physical activity you used to. This can lead to deconditioning, resulting in muscle weakness, joint stiffness, and decreased endurance. The good news is that regular exercise can reverse the effects of deconditioning and make you less prone to injury. When getting back into a workout routine, remember to increase the intensity of your workouts by small increments at a time.

 

Did you warm-up and stretch? 

Doing some light physical activity for 5-10 minutes can help to warm up the muscles and prepare the heart and lungs for more strenuous exercise. Going for a light jog, doing jumping jacks or marching are some examples of good warm-up activities.  Stretching is also important before playing sports to help avoid injury. Do some stretches after your warm-up, targeting the muscles used most in the sport you are playing. Hold each stretch for approximately 30 seconds.

 

Have you done any resistance training? 

Building muscle strength reduces your risk of injury and also helps to improve your posture, balance, body mechanics, and energy level. Resistance bands, free weights, and your own body weight are great examples of ways to incorporate resistance training into your exercise routine.

 

Do you have previous injuries? 

Past injuries increase the likelihood of re-injury, so make sure you get the rehabilitation help you need to heal and get your strength back. If you already have a sports-related injury, contact us so we can get you back in the game and help prevent further injury.