One of the many drawbacks of self-quarantine and long periods of isolation is the damage that can be done to muscle and bone due to long periods of being sedentary. Nationally, time spent binge-watching and video gaming is way up. This lack of activity only increases chances of injury, not to mention cardiovascular disease.
Dr. James Kelly, Saratoga Hospital Medical Group – Sports Medicine, specializes in treating injuries unique to physical exertion through sports and recreation or physically-demanding labor, as well as injuries and illness related to inactivity. He recommends starting slow when exercising unused muscles and bone. Regular stretching and weight-bearing exercise, indoors or outdoors, is necessary to keeping yourself limber and healthy.
If you are an athlete, you have likely been missing out on team trainings, drills, and workouts. Anytime you have a “break” from your sport, you increase the chance of burnout, injury, and decrease opportunities to advance to a higher level. This is why many athletes choose to play more than one sport, so they can stay active year-long.
Here are some tips to keep you in shape and ready for the next game, whenever that may be:
- As always, warm up before any kind of exercise, and stretch afterwards
- Choose exercises that increase pelvic/core muscle strength
- Use weight-bearing exercises to strengthen bone
- Pay attention to common injuries in your sport and strengthen those areas, such as:
- Overuse injuries in baseball
- Ankle or knee injuries in basketball
- Ligament sprains in football
- Hamstring and adductor strains in soccer
- Try practicing different positions in your sport, so you spread the exercise among all your muscles.
- Maintain good gait, posture, ankle balance, and overall movement at all times.
- Consistency and structure are key to a good exercise regimen. Make a schedule and stick to it.
For athletes and anyone who are interested in a detailed review of their individual biomechanics and exercise physiology, Dr. Kelley is seeing patients in the Saratoga Hospital Medical Group – Sports Medicine practice at 8 Medical Park Drive in Malta. Call 518-363-8710 to make an appointment.