Ask anyone on a 9-to-5 schedule what the best part of the week is, and you will hear 5 o’clock on Friday a lot. We all look forward to the weekend because it’s when we get to shed our professional personas and be us. We get to do the things that we enjoy; after all why else do we work? For some of us the weekend means being active. It’s definitely a good thing to get out there and enjoy yourself, especially if you get some exercise while you are at it. Regardless of how you spend your Saturdays, we want to help you avoid a trip to the hospital.
Whether it’s an organized softball league or a pickup basketball game with friends, many weekend warriors play sports. Like we said, keep it up, the exercise is good for you. But it’s also important to take some time to plan and think about what you are doing to avoid injury.
- Warm Up- Nothing will cause an injury faster than neglecting to warm up. People who don’t are more likely to cramp. If you play with a cramp you are more likely to stumble into someone or fall. You see where this is going…..straight to the emergency room. Warming up isn’t hard:
- Stretch thoroughly, focusing on the muscles you’ll be using for the activitiy
- Shoot around the court or throw a softball with a teammate for a few minutes
- Jog in place or do jumping jacks
- Use the Right Equipment- Sounds easy enough, but how many times have you seen someone ignore this easy rule? Batting without a helmet can lead to more than a headache, just like neglecting to wear the knee brace you know you need, can mean spending the rest of the weekend on your back. Don’t let pride or lack of planning get in the way, it’ not worth it.
- Take a Time Out- Breaks are good during sports. Make sure that you take a few minutes to collect yourself. Get some water, stand in the shade, and do whatever you need to do to avoid dehydration and heat stroke. Breaks will also keep you from over-exerting yourself.
- Play at Your Level- We aren’t saying that you shouldn’t try–we are saying don’t be crazy. You don’t have to be the hero. You are far more likely to tear muscles, fall or collide with another player when you try to outdo yourself, so don’t.
The weather is starting to turn (as much as Florida weather does, that is), which means you might want to take the bike out. A quick ride from Hudson to New Port Richey can be a good way to spend a Saturday afternoon. There are plenty of back roads without lights and traffic, so why not?
· Use Your Safety Gear- Your body is not designed to skid across a road at sixty miles an hour. In the event that this happens, your motorcycle safety equipment will pay for itself. Remember your:
o Motorcycle Gloves
o Footwear (not just shoes, find something that protects the feet, ankles and lower leg)
o Eye Protection
o Reinforced Vests or Jackets
· Obey Traffic Laws- We know, bikes equal freedom, but they don’t equal invincibility. Flying through a red light or passing in between two cars is a good way to go from a motorcycle to an ambulance. Ignore this advice and it’s likely that we will be seeing you sooner than later.
· Don’t Tailgate- Following too closely is a bad idea. We know that you probably want to ride faster than the car in front of you is driving, but be careful. Pass them safely and continue enjoying your ride. Tailgating can cause a crash, and realistically you are not likely to cause a car to go faster by following too closely. This might work in a semi but not on a motorcycle.
· Pay Attention- Riding requires responsibility. Cars might not be looking out for you, so you better look out for them. Being aware of what’s going on is one of the best ways to avoid a motorcycle accident.
If you have any questions about avoiding weekend injury visit us or call our Consult-A-Nurse® hotline at (727) 869-5498.
Preventing Heat Related Illness Among Student Athletes