Summer is the time you thrust yourself into new activities. Weekend soccer rec league? Hell yeah. Impromptu volleyball game on the beach? Why not!? Skateboarding with your younger, cooler cousin? Sure! Problem is, this is usually when you pull a muscle or knock something out of place. "Muscle strains often occur when your body isn’t properly warmed up, or when the muscles are largely overused and exhausted," Tehrany says. Even if you're a fit, active guy, you need to pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you're used to moving in one plane of motion—say you only run; your weakness is lateral movements. And if you're spending hours on-end trekking local trails, then swimming in the ocean, followed by a bike ride around your neighborhood, you can severely fatigue your muscles, which raises your risk for injury not only that day, but the next if you're not giving yourself ample time to recover. "Because of this, appropriate training and body conditioning before starting is always a good idea," Tehrany says. Don't overestimate the power of a warmup and sleep.
Some other foolproof tips:
- Train and condition lesser-used muscles with strengthening exercises.
- Keep your joints stable and strong with mobility exercises.
- Stretch, foam roll, and rest.
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