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Injury Prevention

Spring into Action

As spring arrives, many of us are ready to leave the snow behind and spring into outdoor activities such as gardening, running, walking, tennis, and golf. Injuries are common if your body is not conditioned for these activities following the long winter months.

When beginning or re-introducing physical activities, consider the following to reduce the risk of injury:

  • Stretching: conduct pre- and post- stretches to promote flexibility. Hold a stretch for 15 seconds and repeat five times. Avoid bouncing into the stretch.
  • Footwear: wear shoes that are sport-specific to provide proper support.
  • Equipment: use properly fitted grip sizes for tennis rackets and golf clubs.
  • Training: include strength, balance, and endurance exercises to prepare for the sport. Follow a training schedule to ramp-up activities and gradually condition your body.

When heading into the garden for yard work, consider the following injury prevention tips:

  • Stretching: use as a warm-up and cool down to promote flexibility.
  • Body mechanics: lift objects using your knees to avoid back injuries. Keep objects close to your body to avoid awkward positions, such as reaching beyond arm's length and twisting your back.
  • Pace: alternate activities to break up repetitive actions and prevent injury. Plan ahead and include rest periods.
  • Tools: consider tools with ergonomic handles and good grips. Use a wheelbarrow to transport heavier material. Use a kneeling pad or sitting stool when working at a below-waist level.