The fall sports season is right around the corner! Make sure your school athlete stays in peak competitive shape with these helpful tips.
Drinking water regularly is the key to proper exercise for young athletes. Proper hydration can prevent headaches, muscle cramping, and fatigue. Sports drinks may replenish electrolytes, but they’re also full of sugar and should be kept to a minimum.
Get the Right Nutrition
Your athlete’s diet should be largely comprised of healthy carbohydrates. Vegetables, fruit and whole grains fit the bill and are great sources of nutrition. Healthy fats like nuts and avocados, as well as lean proteins, help round out the proper diet for fitness.
Maintain Your Energy
Keeping your child full of energy during long periods of exercise, like during tournaments, can be a challenge. Snacks like orange slices and grapes can help hydrate, while Greek yogurt and almonds can provide protein and healthy fats.
If your child is playing an outdoor sport, be sure to protect them from the sun. Sunscreen should be applied half an hour before heading outdoors, and be reapplied every 90 minutes. Encourage your child to relax in the shade between quarters.
Treat Injuries With Heat or Ice
Different types of injuries call for either ice or heat treatments. Acute pain like sprains can be treated with an ice bag for 20 minutes at a time, four to eight times per day for two days. Chronic pain like sore muscles can be treated with a hot towel for 20-minute increments.
The competitive season can take a toll on any athlete’s mental health. Your child is part of an emotional support group formed by their team, their coach and yourself. Whether they win or lose, do your part to make sure they’re getting the proper encouragement for all their hard work!