- Warm up for at least 5 – 10 minutes before exercising or participating in sports.
- Cool down and stretch after every workout. Hold each stretch for 30 – 60 seconds without bouncing and repeat 3 to 5 times.
- To prevent injury, increase your exercise intensity by no more than 10% every one to two weeks.
- Train specifically for your sport. Each activity or sport uses different muscles and patterns in the body. In order to perform well in your sport, you must train in the same fashion that you play.
- Give your body a break. Always take one to two days off per week to let your muscles heal and your body repair.
- Cross-train with different activities. Change exercises or types of workouts every four to six weeks to help improve your performance and also to avoid overuse injuries.
- Drink at least 64 ounces of water a day. Always drink 16 – 24 ounces of water one to two hours before exercise.
- When training in hot climates or participating in intense/prolonged exercise sessions, drink water/fluids at least every 20 minutes.
Written by Sterling L. Carter, PT, DPT, MS, CSCS