Injury Prevention 101 for Water Sports
Each year, millions of people head to the beach to enjoy their favorite water sports. Some rent boats and watercraft, while others go swimming or surfing. No matter your sport of choice, it’s important to stay safe and make sure you’re ready to hit the water. An injury could hold you in bed in months, ruining your holiday.
Any sport can lead to injuries. While there it’s not possible to completely prevent these issues, there are ways to minimize the risk. Plus, you can always ask a personal trainer for advice or consult a psychotherapist. Let’s get into it!
Take the time to warm up before hitting the water. Do a few stretches to prepare your muscles and joints for exercise. For instance, if you’re getting ready for water polo, stretch your front shoulders, chest, and upper back muscles. Use a foam roller to massage these muscles for 30 seconds or so.
Warming up helps reduce injury risk and increase your range of motion. At the same time, it improves blood flow to the heart and working muscles, which further lowers the risk of injuries.
Adequate hydration is essential year round, but it becomes even more important in the summer when we sweat a lot. Keep a water bottle at hand all the time. If you’re physically active (not just lying on the beach), electrolyte beverages are a good choice. These drinks will restore your fluid levels and prevent electrolyte imbalance.
Even the slightest dehydration may muscle cramps, which is the last thing you want while on the surfboard. For water sports enthusiasts, a combination of electrolyte beverages and water is best.
Wear Protective Gear
No matter how experienced you are, always protective gear. Water skiers, for example, should wear a life jacket and ski gloves. Even though the gloves are not mandatory, they can improve your grip and prevent falling into the water.
Wakeboarders need a wetsuit, helmets, and buoyancy aids at the least. These accessories protect the head and body, and may help prevent deadly injuries. You can also opt for an impact vest, which protects your torso and absorbs shocks.
Last, don’t forget to get in shape. Work with a personal trainer to strengthen the muscles that you’ll use in your sport of choice. Being out of shape can dramatically increase your injury risk and affect your overall performance.