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Back to school season is when most sports programs get into full swing. While it’s commonly known that exercise is a great way to alleviate stress, it’s important for athletes of all ages to take proper care of their bodies. Here are some great tips to share with your children to help them increase their performance and take prevent injuries.
Encourage your children to develop habits of stretching daily. Tight muscles are much more likely to become injured by excessive movement. Additionally, increasing the range of motion in muscles and joints will increase the resistance on the muscles during athletic activities. A flexible joint uses less energy to move which can then make athletes more efficient overall.
Foam rolling is a quick low-cost self-massage therapy that athletes of all ages from can perform at home. Rolling the body over a foam cylinder helps to improve flexibility, reduces soreness, and can prevent overuse sports injuries. Applying pressure to tight trigger areas helps to break up knots or adhesions in the muscles and brings blood flow to the area. This helps to bring repairing nutrients to muscle groups damaged or fatigued by a tough workout. Those new to foam rolling can check out this 12 minute foam roller video which explains the basics.
After a tough strength building workout many young athletes report feeling a little jittery or shaky. To replace the glycogen stores depleted from the workout, athletes should remember to have a snack containing protein and carbohydrates within 15 minutes to two hours. The amino acids found in protein has been shown to speed up recovery and repair the damaged muscle tissue. Smoothies packed with protein are a great post workout option as many athletes report feeling nauseous after a tough workout and find solid heavy foods unappealing.