With the fall season less than a month away the countdown to September 23rd is officially on! So, if you’ve been dreaming of crisp autumn breezes and pumpkin-spiced everything, you’re in luck. And, along with those cooler days and gorgeous fall foliage, the season also marks a new sports season!
Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just looking to embrace a more active lifestyle, don’t wait to start training. By gearing up now, you can increase your stamina, flexibility, and strength for a strong start while lessening your chances of getting hurt. Here are some tips to help you put your best foot forward!
Warm-Up and Cool-Down Routines
The importance of warming up before your workout and cooling down afterward is key. Just as you don’t want to go from having a sedentary summer to going full throttle in the fall, the same is true for your conditioning.
So, start with light aerobic exercises and ease into more sport-specific moves. After your workout, be sure and stretch to prevent muscle cramps and aches.
Think Flexibility and Mobility
Regular stretching and mobility exercises aren’t just limited to before and after workouts. To improve your range of motion and reduce the risk of injuries, add stretching into your day. Sitting at a desk all day? Making time for stretching is a great reminder to get up and move throughout the day.
Make Time for Cardio
Depending on what sport you’re conditioning, the type of cardio you choose may differ. However, as a general rule, everyone should be aiming for at least two and a half hours of exercise each week for good health. If you are just getting started or feeling out of shape, remember to start small. Even just a daily walk or power walk will help! By working up to interval training, which includes short bursts of energy, you can start prepping for your upcoming sport.
Don’t Forget Strength Training
Along with cardio, strength training should also be done consistently for good health and is even more important as we age. If you’re just getting started, go slow and do what you can. The great thing about strength training is the versatility you have at your disposal. From free weights and machines to resistance bands and using your body weight (for example push-ups or yoga), you can find what works for you.
Fuel Your Body
Proper nutrients are a must for optimal performance whether you’re breaking a sweat or not. Aim for a balanced diet rich in complex carbohydrates (like whole grains, fruits, and veggies), as well as lean proteins, and healthy fats, to keep you full, give you energy, and even help with muscle repair.
Furthermore, staying hydrated before, during, and after workouts, practices, and games will help prevent dehydration, which can affect your performance and also increase your risk of injuries.
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Just as you want to fuel and train your body for peak performance, you also want to make time for rest and recovery too. Listening to your body and easing up when you need to are also ways you can help condition and prevent injuries.
Remember, gearing up for fall sports is more than just enthusiasm. However, with proper conditioning, injury prevention strategies, and a mindful approach to your overall well-being, you’ll minimize your risk of injuries for more fun all season long!
† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.