Avoiding Water Sports Injuries
Depending on your sport, summer might be the one time of year you get to take a break from constant games, practices and conditioning. You might be taking advantage of the beach, ocean and bay to participate in some non-competitive water sports that just let you relax and show off all your physical skills.
But fun can turn serious very quickly out on the water. Waves can be unpredictable, especially with other boats or jet skis out on the water. Heat can affect your ability to think. Even sweat can get in your eyes, making it hard to see obstacles.
So before you hop on that jet ski or get on a wakeboard, make sure you are following these tips to avoid injuries that could affect your game, even if it’s the offseason.
Warm Up First
Though water sports are recreational, that doesn’t mean they aren’t physically strenuous. Many people underestimate the strength, balance and flexibility required for water sports. If you go into them completely cold, you might end up with tendon or ligament injuries when you land roughly or fall.
To reduce your risk of injury, warm up just a little bit before starting your sport. This might mean stretching on the boat or swimming for a few minutes at a gentle pace.
Never Go Alone
You should never be out in or on the water on your own. Freak accidents and cramps happen. Take someone with you, preferably someone who is trained in water rescues and is a strong swimmer. Having someone else with you can prevent the worst from happening. If you spend a lot of time on the water, it’s a good idea for you to be trained in water rescues too by taking a lifeguard course and a CPR course.
Wear the Right Gear
Even if you are a strong swimmer or even a lifeguard, you need to wear a life jacket while out on the water, especially when on a boat or jet ski. If the worst happens, it can help keep your head above water and keep you alive.
Know Your Limits
While head and neck injuries as the result of falls are among the top leading causes of water sports injuries. But sprains and strains are also very common when wake boarding or water skiing. These happen when you push yourself too hard. Take plenty of breaks from activity, drink lots of water and listen to your body to avoid these issues.
If you do experience an injury this summer, the athletic trainers at Bon Secours Sports Performance can help you recover and rebuild strength before your season starts again. Contact us today to learn how we can help you recover from injuries.