Author Archives: Shawn Taylor

Sleep for Health and Performance

Sleep for Health and PerformanceAthletes often search for the newest invention, technique, or ‘secret’ to give them an edge in performance, injury recovery, and injury prevention. While not actually a ‘secret’, there are ways to get an edge that you have direct control over every day.  Sleep is one of those elements. In fact, the benefits of sleep for health and performance are powerful, but often overlooked and ignored.

Benefits of Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do to improve your physical and mental performance. In addition, sleep helps you recover from injuries faster, and improves your overall health and resistance to illness. The benefits to getting a good night’s sleep include:

Improved mental health

  • Getting enough sleep supports the body’s ability to manage stress and anxiety. Lack of sleep is directly associated with depression.

Improved physical health and immune function

  • Cell and muscle growth and repair occur during sleep. Therefore, without sleep your body won’t recover fully from the previous day’s workout.
  • Poor quality sleep is associated with weight gain and obesity in adolescents and young adults.

Improved cognitive performance

  • Lack of sleep reduces your ability to focus and maintain attention, and impairs decision-making and memory.

Lack of Sleep

Studies show that sleep directly affects immune function, and that lack of sleep is associated with increased injuries in adolescent athletes. A study on the effects of sleep deprivation on adolescent athletes found that athletes who got less than 8 hours of sleep a night were 1.7 times more likely to be injured than athletes who slept 8 or more hours a night.

Getting Better Sleep

As you can see, there are many benefits to getting a good night’s sleep. Although, knowing this and doing it are two different things! First, it’s important to understand how much sleep to aim for. Teenagers should get 8-9 hours of sleep a night. Adults should shoot for 6-8 hours of sleep a night.

Second, it is good to have some strategies to make falling asleep as easy as possible. Try some of the following tips to find what works best for you.

  • Use blackout curtains and reduce excess light to make your bedroom as dark as possible.
  • Avoid spending time on your phone, computer, or watching TV at least 30 minutes before going to bed.
  • Create a bedtime routine to start winding down at least 30 minutes before going to bed. For example, your routine might include reading, listening to relaxing music, journaling, or taking a bath.
  • Get the recommended amount of exercise throughout the day. However, avoid intense exercise close to bedtime as it can make it difficult to relax and fall asleep.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages late in the day.
  • Establish a consistent bedtime. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. By sticking to a routine your body can count on, you are more likely to get the recommended amount of sleep.

Sleep for Health

The most important factors associated with health and performance tend to be things that we do every day. As you can see, sleep is one of those things. By working towards our best possible sleep on a daily basis, we improve our health and perform better, both physically and mentally. So, what are you waiting for? Go to bed!

Written by: Stuart Schmidt, MS, ATC, CSCS athletic trainer supervisor for The Center Foundation in Bend, OR. Learn more about Stuart HERE.

The Center Foundation provides sports medicine services to young athletes at no charge to the students or their families. We do this by placing certified athletic trainers in local high schools to keep kids safe. Learn more about our work HERE.

References

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/healthy-sleep-tips
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3256323/pdf/424_2011_Article_1044.pdf
https://www.healio.com/pediatrics/journals/pedann/2017-3-46-3/%7B3bacbe58-eeb0-45b2-bd94-54a6f8dffaa3%7D/the-value-of-sleep-on-athletic-performance-injury-and-recovery-in-the-young-athlete
https://www.nata.org/sites/default/files/sleep-infographic-handout.pdf
https://www.sportsinjurybulletin.com/the-importance-of-sleep-in-performance-and-injury-recovery/#:~:text=Growth%20hormone%2C%20needed%20for%20tissue,fatty%20acids%20needed%20for%20healing.
https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4663/7/1/1/htm

 

Warm Up for Injury Prevention and Performance

soccer players dynamic warm up for injury prevention

Warming up before exercise is one of the easiest and most important things that you can do to reduce your risk of injury. A good warm up for injury prevention can also help improve your performance – it’s a win-win!

What is a Warm Up?

A warm up is a gradual way to get your body ready for the demands of your chosen exercise. When performed properly, the warm up period should last about 10-15 minutes. In addition, it should be specific for your chosen activity. In other words, the exercises and stretches you include in your warm up should target the same muscles and areas of the body that your chosen activity will use.

Purpose of a Warm Up

A well-designed warm up functions to prepare you, mentally and physically, for the demands of the sports activity you are performing. It does this by increasing blood flow to your muscles, increasing body temperature, and increasing your heart rate. In addition, a warm up improves range of motion by stretching the muscles that you will be using for your activity. Together, this gets your body ready to perform its best and decreases your risk of injury.

Examples of Warm Ups

For example, if you are planning to go for a run, your warm up should include dynamic lower-body stretches, like walking lunges and leg swings.  Follow this with a light activity to get your heart rate up, like jumping jacks or squat jumps. Alternatively, if you are planning to lift weights for your upper body, your warm up may start with several minutes on a rowing machine. Follow that with some dynamic arm exercises such as arms swings and some D2 shoulder swings.  Continue the warm up by doing a few reps of your lift with no weight on the bar. After that, progressively increase the weight as you build up to your target.

walking lunge warm up

Likewise, if you are getting ready to play a sport, whether in practice or a game, your warm up should target the specific muscles that you will be using. Start slow and gradually progress throughout your warm up to the desired intensity of the sports activity. In addition, your warm up is a great opportunity to build in repetition for desired movement skills. You can also include targeted drills to improve mobility. More about that in a future blog!

After your warm up, you are ready to move into your planned activity. If you still have some tight areas in your body, take a few more moments to stretch lightly. About 15-20 seconds at a time for a specific area is enough. However, don’t spend so much time stretching that you cool down and need to do another warm up! After your workout, while your body is still warm, is the ideal time to do a thorough stretching routine to cool down. We will cover the cool down in another article.

Warm Up for Injury Prevention

So what are you waiting for? It only takes about 10 minutes, and it doesn’t need to be complicated. A simple warm up routine that is easy to remember is best. Prevent injuries and improve performance by adding a warm up to your exercise routine today!

Written by: Stuart Schmidt, MS, ATC, CSCS athletic trainer supervisor for The Center Foundation in Bend, OR. Learn more about Stuart HERE.

The Center Foundation provides sports medicine services to young athletes at no charge to the students or their families. We do this by placing certified athletic trainers in local high schools to keep kids safe. Learn more about our work HERE.

References

http://www.nsmi.org.uk/articles/injury-prevention/warming-up.html
https://www.nsca.com/contentassets/116c55d64e1343d2b264e05aaf158a91/basics_of_strength_and_conditioning_manual.pdf
https://www.nsca.com/education/articles/kinetic-select/introduction-to-dynamic-warm-up/
https://www.nsmi.org.uk/articles/injury-prevention/warming-up.html

 

Keeping Your Kids Safe in Sports

2020-21 Athletic Training Team for The Center FoundationSchools are resuming in-person sports activities, and our athletic trainers are excited to get back to work protecting young athletes. However, we know that there are concerns about COVID-19. As a parent, it’s natural to be anxious about the safety of your child. For this reason, we want you to know that our team is committed to keeping your kids safe and healthy.

Keep reading to learn how we are working together to protect your child from exposure to COVID-19.

Oregon Health Authority & Oregon School Activities Association

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Oregon Sports Activities Association (OSAA) offer a framework of required policies for all schools wishing to participate in athletic events during this time. In fact, the Oregon Health Authority recognizes that “Participation in physical activity is vital to the health and well-being of young people.” Therefore, we fully support these policies to steer safe sports participation. You can find more information about the specific policies here at OHA COVID Policies and OSAA Coronavirus.

How we are Keeping Your Kids Safe

Over the summer months, our athletic trainers and the school districts of Bend-La Pine, Sisters, Crook County, and Jefferson County collaborated to develop policies and procedures to ensure safe sports participation. In addition, we are working closely with the local school districts to ensure that we follow all health and safety initiatives.

Our athletic trainers are adopting the following measures keep your kids safe.

  • Face masks worn at all times by athletic trainers and students while giving or receiving treatment.
  • Hands washed/sanitized between every interaction with students.
  • Tables, counters, and equipment disinfected before and after every use.
  • All athlete interactions/encounters carefully logged to aid in contact tracing in the event of a positive case of COVID-19 among student athletes.
  • Educate parents, coaches, and student athletes on the importance of following health and safety policies, the risks associated with sports participation during COVID-19, and strategies to minimize those risks.

In addition, our athletic trainers will be working with schools to identify and quickly respond to positive cases and possible exposures. This will help minimize the spread of the disease. Our goal is to keep everyone safe and avoid another shutdown of sports and schools.

How You Can Help

Despite all of these necessary measures, there is still risk associated with returning to in-person sports. Admittedly, there is no way to remove risk entirely, other than abstaining from sports altogether. However, as parents there are a few things your child can do to help protect themselves, your family, and others.

  • Stay home if sick. This cannot be overstated. In fact, it is true for any symptoms of illness, but especially important if your child has
    • symptoms of COVID-19,
    • been diagnosed,
    • is waiting for test results,
    • or been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
  • Maintain social distancing. This means your child should stay at least 6 feet from other players whenever possible.
  • Wear a face mask. Yes, even while exercising. If you missed it, read our previous blog about exercising while wearing a facemask for some helpful tips.
  • Bring your own water bottle. Instruct your child to bring a personal water bottle. Remind them not to share it or to drink from other people’s water bottles.
  • Wash your hands with soap and hot water regularly.
  • Practice good hygiene. Remind your child to avoid touching mouth, nose, or eyes with their hands. In addition, avoid spitting, and cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or elbow. And, always remember to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer afterwards after a sneeze or cough.
  • Don’t share equipment. While this is not always possible, your child should try to minimize sharing of equipment such as helmets, gloves, and bats.

Keeping Your Kids Safe Together

We know how important physical activity and sports participation is for the health and happiness of kids. Therefore, remember that we are all in this together and follow the above precautions. Help us ensure that your kids continue to play the sports they love. By working together, we reduce the risk of illness and speed up a return to normal life.

Below are some additional resources and references to help you as your children go back to playing sports during the pandemic.

Written by: Stuart Schmidt, MS, ATC, CSCS athletic trainer supervisor for The Center Foundation in Bend, OR. Learn more about Stuart HERE.

The Center Foundation provides sports medicine services to young athletes at no charge to the students or their families. We do this by placing certified athletic trainers in local high schools to keep kids safe. Learn more about our work HERE.

References/Resources:
Considerations for Youth Sports – CDC
Understanding Risk Related to COVID-19 and Youth Sports
Safety Checklist For Sports Participation During COVID-19
Cloth Face Coverings in Youth Sport
Playing Sports –COVID 19 CDC

Tips for Wearing a Face Mask During Exercise

Photo Credit: newschant dot com

Are you worried about wearing a face mask while exercising? You are not alone. While we have had to accept the reality of wearing face masks during our daily lives, the concept of wearing a mask while exercising or playing sports is another thing altogether. Figuring out how to exercise, sweat, and breath hard while sucking air through fabric or filters can be daunting. Regardless, we will have to accept this reality if we want to exercise indoors or in more crowded outdoor spaces. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) currently requires face masks both indoors and outside, if social distancing cannot be maintained. This requirement includes gyms, crowded parks, trails, and basketball courts. However, there are a few things you can do to make wearing a face mask during exercise a little easier.

Types of Face Masks

Picking out the most appropriate face mask for your activity can be a challenge. Because there are so many different types of masks to choose from, it is important to understand the options. Medical grade face masks, such as N95 respirators and surgical masks, are not ideal for exercise. While N95 masks are great at protecting you and those around you, they are in short supply and should be reserved for healthcare professionals working with COVID-19 patients.

Likewise, surgical masks and other paper disposable masks are not great for exercising. Because paper masks lose their effectiveness as soon as they get wet (think sweating!), wear them once, and throw them away. Although face shields are becoming common, it is important to understand that they are primarily for eye protection. In fact, the CDC does not currently recommend the use of face shields as a replacement for face masks. Rather, they recommend face shields and masks be worn together as an additional level of protection. Cloth masks are the best choice for exercise because they are washable, reusable, and tend to be the most comfortable.

Selecting the Right Face Mask

Selecting the right cloth mask means finding one that is both comfortable and effective. The best masks have multiple fabric layers for increased protection. In addition, they need to be breathable so you get enough oxygen for exercise. Companies, like Under Armor, Columbia, and Adidas, have created sports oriented face masks designed specifically to wear while competing. Another popular option is the neck buff. A neck buff is a tube of fabric worn around the neck. Many people use them as face masks by pulling them up over the mouth and nose. Even though neck buffs are popular, a recent study indicated that they might actually be worse than not wearing a face mask at all. There is some evidence that the fabric of a neck buff may spread particles out in a larger pattern than normal, and they do nothing to restrict or block the spread. While convenient and comfortable, neck buffs are not likely to protect the user or other people.

How to Wear a Face Mask

Once you have selected your face mask, make sure you get the most out of it by wearing it properly. Here are some tips on how to wear a mask:

  • Make sure that the mask completely covers your mouth and nose.
  • Your mask should fit snugly, yet comfortably to your face.
  • If you have difficulty breathing in your mask before you begin exercising, you may need to select a different mask.
  • Wash your hands before and after putting on or removing your face mask.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth while putting on and removing your mask.
  • Do not touch your mask while you are wearing it.
  • Do you sweat a lot? Carry more than one mask and switch them out as needed.
  • Wash and dry your face mask after each use.
  • Put on and remove your face mask by the ear loops, rather than touching the front of the mask itself.

Exercising with a Face Mask

Exercising while wearing a face mask can be uncomfortable at first, and you may need some time to adjust. Therefore, ease into activity slowly when you are wearing a mask. You can accomplish this by planning shorter, less intense workouts the first few times you wear a mask. Feeling dizzy, lightheaded, having difficulty breathing, or having shortness of breath are all signs that you need to slow down. If that doesn’t help, you may need to stop your activity altogether until the symptoms resolve.

For health conditions that causes difficulty breathing, or if your doctor recommends that you not wear a mask, consider starting a home exercise program. In addition, there are many options for exercising outdoors without a mask rather than in a gym. Remember to always practice social distancing.

Now that you have selected a face mask, and are wearing it properly, get out there and start exercising!

Written by: Stuart Schmidt, MS, ATC, CSCS athletic trainer supervisor for The Center Foundation in Bend, OR. Learn more about Stuart HERE.

 

Meet the Team – Gavin Thiele

Gavin Thiele, MEd, ATCGavin Thiele was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. After high school, he left his hometown to attend Purdue University. Gavin enjoyed his time at Purdue and the unique opportunities available to him. In fact, one of his favorite experiences was working as the student intern athletic trainer for the Buffalo Bills.

In 2012, Gavin completed his bachelor’s degree and headed west. He accepted the position of Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer for Arizona State University. While working as a graduate assistant, he studied for his Master’s Degree in Higher and Post-Secondary Education and Administration. His time at ASU included working with the ASU wrestling team, as well as the freestyle Olympic wrestling teams.

After receiving his master’s degree, Gavin returned to his hometown and spent the next five years as a high school athletic trainer. In addition, he acted as preceptor for both high school athletes and local college students. Through all of his experiences, Gavin feels that returning an athlete to play is the best part of his work.

Feeling the urge to head west, he recently made his home in Central Oregon. Gavin is thrilled to join The Center Foundation, and looks forward to serving the students at Bend Senior High School.

A Little More About Gavin…

What was your first job? Lifeguard

What is your favorite food? Deer jerky

Tell us something quirky or interesting about you? I love to snowboard and surf.

What is one thing you would like people to know about athletic trainers? Athletic trainers are health care professionals, and they will be with you during every step of your recovery.

To learn more about our high school athletic training team here.
Find out how you can support the work of The Center Foundation here.

5 Tips to Get Ready for Fall Sports

We are all in a holding pattern as we wait to learn the status of school sports for fall. However, it is important that you don’t wait to get prepared for the upcoming season. Follow these 5 tips now to be ready for sports this September!

Get OK to Play

Visit your primary care physician for an annual wellness exam, including your sports physical. Make sure you start the season healthy by visiting your doctor, and our athletic trainers will be there to keep you healthy. Learn more about getting OK to Play!

Get Used to the Heat

With summer still in full swing, the early sports season can be hot! Get your body used to the heat gradually by starting early and slowly. If you take your time increasing your exposure to exercising in the heat, your body will adapt. As a reminder, head back to this article for the top tips for hot weather exercise.

Get Fit Early

Don’t spend the summer sitting on the couch playing video games! Instead, start getting in shape early by doing general exercise like running and weightlifting. If you have spent some time on the couch, read this article on getting back to fitness.

Heal Old Injuries

If you still have lingering injuries from the past season, its important to use this time to heal. Whether you need rest, a visit to the doctor, or some time in rehab, get started now. Regardless of the injury, you can train around it safely with guidance from a qualified healthcare professional.

Food and Water

Proper nutrition and hydration are the most basic things you must have to be ready for the sports season. Eating well not only helps your body grow strong, but also helps your body recover. Need a reminder on good nutrition for athletes? Check out this article on nutrition.

Still Need Help?

Talk to your athletic trainer if you need help developing a rehab or training plan to get ready for the upcoming sports season. Athletic trainers specialize in injury prevention and they can help you reach your sports goals safely.

One last thing - we realize that this summer is different than previous summers due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. For that reason, we remind you that It is important that you do not exercise if you are not feeling well. In addition, if you have a fever, cough, or you are short of breath, call your doctor. Do not return to physical activity, whether it is in a group or solo, before you have been cleared by your physician.

Follow these 5 tips, stay healthy and safe, and you will be ready to jump into fall sports!

high five 5 tips for getting ready for fall sports

Burn Injuries – Know What to do This July 4th

 Burn Injuries - Know what to do this Fourth of July

Burn Injuries - Know what to do This July 4th

In my last post, I shared important tips for staying safe on the Fourth of July. By following these tips, you can reduce the risk of injury during your holiday celebrations. If you missed that post, you can read it HERE. Each year, burn injuries account for 44% of the injuries caused by fireworks. Even if you follow all of the safety tips, accidents can still happen, so it is important to learn how to identify and treat burns.

Types of Burns

Classified as first, second, and third degree, appropriate burn treatment will vary depending on the severity and size of the injury.

first degree burn

second degree burn

third degree burn

First-Degree

A first-degree burn is the least severe. Specifically, it occurs when the outer layer of is damaged from touching or picking up a hot object. The skin becomes red at first, and then it eventually dries and peels. Pain from a first-degree burn typically lasts 48-72 hours before subsiding. Another common example of a first-degree burn is a sunburn.

Second-Degree

Second-degree burns happen in the same way as a first-degree burn, but they are more severe. With a second-degree burn, damage occurs to the outer layer of skin, as well as parts of the inner layer of skin. Signs of a second-degree burn include blistering, white blotchy patches on the skin, possibly a deep red color, and the area may look wet and shiny. In addition, there could be swelling, and the area will be painful to the touch.

Third-Degree

Third-degree burns are the most serious and require urgent medical attention. As with second-degree burns, third-degree burns damage both the inner and outer layers of the skin. Visually, the area may look dry and leathery, or the skin may appear charred, black, yellow, white or brown. Interestingly, a third-degree burn is not always painful at the time of injury. This is because of damage to the nerve endings in the area.

BURN FIRST AID FOR MINOR INJURIES

Treat minor burns by cooling the area under running water, or applying a cold, wet compress to the area. If possible, remove anything from the injured area that could restrict circulation such as rings, watches, belts, or tight clothing.  Apply a lotion such as aloe vera gel or other skin moisturizer. This will provide some pain relief and help reduce drying and peeling. Cover the area with a sterile bandage and wrap the area loosely with a clean bandage.

If blisters are present, do not pop them. Popping blisters creates an opening in the skin that can become a source of infection. If a blister does pop, gently clean the area with soap and water, apply an antibiotic ointment, like Neosporin, and cover with a bandage to keep it clean. Taking Tylenol or Ibuprofen can help ease the pain and swelling. Always follow the directions on the bottle for appropriate dosing.

BURN FIRST AID FOR SERIOUS INJURIES

burn first aidIf you can see that the level of damage is deep, covers an area greater than 3 inches, or covers the hands, feet, face, groin, buttocks or a major joint, than you need to call 911 and seek immediate medical care. All third-degree burns as well as some second-degree burns, require immediate medical attention.

While waiting for emergency care to arrive, take steps to protect yourself, the patient, and others from further injury. First, ensure the injured person is in a safe area. Next, check the ABC’s – Airway, Breathing, and Circulation. If there is no pulse and the individual is not breathing, send someone to call 911, start CPR and continue until medical help arrives.

AIRWAY – If the person is unconscious, open the airway by putting one hand on the forehead and the other on the patients chin, then tilt the head back while lifting up the chin.

BREATHING – Look to see if the chest is rising and falling with each breath.

CIRCULATION – Check for a pulse on the neck or wrist.

Once you have confirmed that the injured person is conscious and breathing, make sure to remove any items that restrict the injured area such as jewelry or belts. Cover the burned area with a cool, moist bandage or clean cloth, but do not immerse large burns in water. Elevate the injured area, keep the patient warm, and watch for signs of shock until help arrives.

Finally, when planning your Independence Day celebration, it is a good idea to have a small, well-stocked first aid kit available, and make sure at least one person in your household is CPR trained. If you are not comfortable providing care, or you are not sure what the right course of action is, call 911 or go to your local urgent care or emergency room.

Be safe and have fun this Fourth of July!

Written by: Stuart Schmidt, MS, ATC, CSCS athletic trainer supervisor for The Center Foundation in Bend, OR. Learn more about Stuart HERE.

The Center Foundation provides sports medicine services to young athletes at no charge to the students or their families. We do this by placing certified athletic trainers in local high schools to keep kids safe. Learn more about our work HERE.

REFERENCES:
https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=classification-and-treatment-of-burns-90-P01738
https://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-burns/basics/art-20056649

6 Tips for a Safe and Fun Fourth of July

From backyard barbecues to spectacular fireworks shows, the 4th of July is the highlight of summer. However, if you don’t take safety precautions, injury and property damage can spoil the fun of the holiday. In fact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that emergency rooms treated 9,100 injuries from fireworks in 2018. Sadly, kids under the age of 15 sustained 36% of those injuries, most of which were preventable. It is easy to keep your friends and family injury-free and still have a great celebration. Just follow these 6 tips for a safe and fun Fourth of July.

  1. Do not let children play with fireworks. In addition, make sure that there is always an adult supervising any fireworks activity.
  2. Keep a bucket of water or a working hose nearby to douse fireworks if necessary.
  3. Keep spectators, especially children, at a safe distance at all times while lighting fireworks.
  4. Never point a firework at a person, car, house, or other object. Keep the area directly surrounding the firework is clear of any debris that can catch fire or interfere with your ability to retreat.
  5. Do not attempt to re-light a firework that does not start.
  6. Douse used fireworks thoroughly in a bucket of water or with a hose before discarding them in the trash.

We hope that these 6 tips help you enjoy your Fourth of July and stay safe!

Written by: Stuart Schmidt, MS, ATC, CSCS athletic trainer supervisor for The Center Foundation in Bend, OR. Learn more about Stuart HERE.

The Center Foundation provides sports medicine services to young athletes at no charge to the students or their families. We do this by placing certified athletic trainers in local high schools to keep kids safe. Learn more about our work HERE.

REFERENCES:
https://www.cpsc.gov/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Fireworks
https://www.chp.edu/injury-prevention/safety/holiday-and-seasonal/fireworks

Back to Fitness after Shutdown

back to fitness after shutdown COVID-19 disrupted all of our planned activities this spring, including school and organized sports. We all did our part to Stay Home and Save Lives, and many of us have lost some fitness along the way. However, as we move through the phases of reopening, it’s time to get back to fitness as our lives slowly start returning to normal.

If the lack of organized activities, sports, gyms, and weight rooms have left you a bit out of shape, it’s important to ease back into activity slowly to prevent injury. You can’t expect to return to the same level and intensity of exercise you were doing before the shutdown. If you try it, your return may be short lived, and you could soon find yourself injured and back on the couch.

Here are a few recommendations for avoiding injury and back to fitness. With a little patience, you can return to your previous levels of activity in time for the fall sports season.

Start Slowly

The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) recommends that athletes returning to activity begin at about 50% of their pre-shut down volume and intensity. For example, if you were running six days per week, start again with three days If you could do drills for an hour, start with half an hour. In addition, you should spread your activities out evenly throughout the week.

Progress Slowly

When increasing your activity, whether its miles, time, or intensity, the general recommendation is no more than a 10% increase each week. That means, if you did 30 minutes of activity for three days this week for a total of 90 minutes, you could add roughly 10 minutes to your activity next week. Although this sounds like a tiny increase, it does add up over time, and will help you avoid injury.

Practice Self-Care

foam rollingMake time each day to take care of your body. Whether it’s gentle yoga, light stretching, or a dynamic warm up, maintaining and restoring your range of motion is key to not only preventing injury, but also recovering from injury. Likewise, a little self-massage can bring big benefits. Consider combining both stretching and massage together in your routine. For example, you could use a foam roller or lacrosse ball to work out any tight spots in your muscles, and follow it up with a dynamic warm up or light stretching.

Prioritize Sleep

Getting 6-8 hours of sleep each night is important for muscle growth, healing, and recovery. Look at this Sleep Infographic published by the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) to learn all about the amazing benefits of a good night’s sleep.

Proper Nutrition

High quality food and proper nutrition provide your body with what it needs to be able to get back to fitness and recover from activity. Look at this previous blog from Bend High Athletic Trainer, Tessa Cashman, for more information about the role of nutrition and injury recovery.

Back to Fitness and Beyond

Finally, it is important to be patient and listen to your body. This is not the time to try to push through an injury or increase your activity just because the program you are following tells you too. Don’t expect to be able to lift the same amount of weight or run at the same speed as you could before. However, if you are patient and follow the recommendations above, you will find that you can get back to fitness. You might even find that, eventually, you are stronger, faster and fitter – all while staying healthy and resistant to injury.

fit girl jumps for joy

If you are not sure how to get started, contact your local high school athletic trainer for help designing a program specific to your needs. You can find contact information for all of our Central Oregon high school athletic trainers HERE.

Written by: Stuart Schmidt, MS, ATC, CSCS athletic trainer supervisor for The Center Foundation in Bend, OR. Learn more about Stuart HERE.

The Center Foundation places dedicated athletic trainers in local high schools to provide sports medicine services to young athletes at no charge to the students or their families. Learn more about our work HERE.

7 Tips for Summer Exercise

Summer is just around the corner and the mercury is going to start rising. Do you know how to stay safe while exercising in the summer heat? Follow these 7 tips for summer exercise to stay cool and get the most out of your hot weather workout.

7 tips for exercise in hot weather exhausted runner

1. Timing

Avoid the heat of the day by exercising in the mornings and evenings. Try to avoid exercising in the hottest part of the day.

2. Go Slow

If you must exercise in the heat of the day, get yourself used to the heat slowly.  This can be done by gradually exposing yourself to the heat by starting with a very short workout, and increasing the amount of time you exercise over several days.

3. Hydrate

Drinking fluids is key! Performance declines with as little as 2-3% decrease in body weight from sweat loss.  In general, you should drink approximately 20 ounces of fluid for every pound lost during exercise. In addition, know how to check your hydration status by looking at the color of your urine. Aim for light yellow or straw colored urine. Dark yellow or brown urine means that you are significantly dehydrated and need to drink more.

4. Clothing

Wear loose synthetic clothing that breathes and wicks moisture. Also, pick light colors over dark colors to help reflect the sun’s heat away from you.

5. Protection

You can keep your body cooler by keeping the sun off your skin. Wear a hat and lightweight long sleeve shirt, and always remember your sunscreen! As you sweat, remember to reapply sunscreen, too.

6. Know the Signs

The signs of heat illness include cramping, confusion, unsteadiness, irritability, vomiting, unusual fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and visual disturbances. Stop exercising and find a cool place to rest if you feel unwell.

7. First Aid

When heat illness strikes, know how to beat it. Immersion in cold water is the best way to treat it quickly. However, if you don’t have access to a tub full of ice water, that’s okay. You can still help by rolling up towels and dunking them in ice water. Wring out the excess water and place the towels over the head, neck, and body to bring the body temperature down.

Staying safe while recreating in the summer heat is easy if you remember these 7 tips. Please share with your friends and teammates, and let us how you stay cool while exercising in the heat this summer!

Written by: Alex Walker, ATC, athletic trainer for The Center Foundation and Sisters High School in Sisters, OR. Learn more about Alex HERE.

The Center Foundation places dedicated athletic trainers in local high schools to provide sports medicine services to young athletes at no charge to the students or their families. Learn more about our work HERE.

https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/warning.html accessed 5/29/2020