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A safe and sporty summer

By Calissa Reid

This past month I have been absolutely fanatical about sports.  Canada was fortunate enough to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and then to add some blue-and-orange icing to this sports-filled summer treat, The Edmonton Oilers secured the number one draft pick for the year – hello, Connor McDavid!

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An Oiler fan modified a street sign to welcome Connor McDavid to sweet, sweet #YEG.

For athletes like Christine Sinclair and Connor McDavid, playing a sport is their job, but for most of us, sports are a great way to get active and have some fun.  Whether you play for fun or for funds (see what I did there?), you can be at risk for injury when playing a sport. Here are some tips to keep safe while playing a sport this summer.

Get the go-ahead.  Before starting a new sport or workout regime, check in with your doctor if you have been inactive for a while. Get a physical to make sure that you’re ready to join that soccer team or pick up that tennis racquet.

Dress the part. This can mean you’re wearing full body armour or finding the right pair of shoes.   One of the best ways to prevent a sports injury is to wear the right gear to protect you in case of a nasty fall or a big hit.  In addition to having the gear, it needs to fit you.  As you grow, you need to review the size and padding levels of equipment to make sure it’s protecting you like it should.

 Hydrate.  Some of the Women’s World Cup games I went to this summer were scorchers, and I’m not just talking about the game play.  These women had to play in 25-degree-heat, which can easily lead to dehydration. The national teams are pros, and whenever a whistle blew you could see the women grabbing water bottles to re-hydrate. Take a look at Caitlin’s post to learn more about the importance of staying hydrated this summer.

Warm it up. There has been debate around this recently; some scientists believe that warming up and stretching does not decrease the risk of injury, but the scientific literature is inconclusive. You may question if stretching helps prevent injury, but I do believe that a quick jog to get your body moving and your head clear can help get your head into the game.

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It was a sea of red at the FIFA Women’s World Cup opener. What an honour to watch these women!

For me, this has been a sports-filled summer, but only as a spectator! I’m hoping to change that this upcoming weekend, and will keep these tips in mind to stay safe and have fun.

Do you have any summer safety tips to share? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @HeadsUpAB

 

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