Stay hydrated – Keep filling the tank. As your activity levels increase, your hydration decreases so its vital that you keep topping your water levels up.
Ensure you wear the correct attire – When it comes to footwear, you don’t want to go running without the correct ankle or arch support as this can increase your risk of issues such as ankle roll over or plantar fasciitis.
Shin pads, mouth shield and helmets are also used appropriate to the sport.
Don’t run before you can walk – Build up your training and allow your body to adapt to the conditions. If you are just coming back from injury, you will need to start with mobility work before building up your strength and stamina over time to ensure you are at reduced injury risk.
Fuel yourself appropriately – A good balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats are needed for the body to perform to its maximum potential. On days high activity level, you will need to increase your carbohydrate levels for additional energy stores and proteins which will aid muscular repair.
Warm up appropriately – Your warm up should include the types of movements that you are going to perform in training. So for a football warm up, you should include forwards, back wards and sidewards
movement patterns as well as ball work. For weight lifting, you should incorporate light weight over head press for a higher rep range than in the main element. Activation of the specific muscle groups such as iron cross and step through thoracic rotation should also be included. Also, be sure to do an appropriate cool down such as static stretching of the muscle groups used in the training session.
Report any concerns early – Its better to be safe than sorry. The earlier an injury can be identified, the quicker the recovery process can be implemented.
Full body work out – Ensure all muscle groups are targeted throughout the week. A good way of ensuring this is by doing supersets, so, a dead-lift followed by a short rest and then a bent over row for
Warm ups should be done in a RAMP format and in a dynamic fashion to prepare the body for the actions involved in the activity to take place
Raise the body temperature, heart rate, body temperature, blood flow and respiration rate.
Activate and Mobilise the key muscles and joints that are going to be used, so for Ice hockey; Knees, ankles, quads, hips, shoulders (not limited to).
Potentiate by reaching the same intensity levels that you will in the activity that you are about to participate in, so for football, a short sprint for example.
The below is a sample generic programme of a RAMP warm up;
Raise: Treadmill, cycle, cross trainer, rowing for 10 minutes to increase heart rate at 60% maximum heart rate (MHR).
Activation and Mobilisation: Leg swings across the body and forwards and back x 10 each direction. Alternating knee pick to lunge x 10 each leg. Arm circles, banded chest openers and shoulder breakers, cat camels, all 10 repetitions.
Potentiate: Unilateral skips, A skips, B skips, pogos over a distance of 10-20 metres, recover going back and repeat 4 times as an example.
Higher protein and carbohydrate intake with reduced fats. Static stretching and or foam rolling. Isotonic still drink to replace glycogen stores and keep your water intake up. Massage / sports therapy. Listen to your body and take appropriate action.