Sport and recreation
participation is encouraged for a number of reasons including
the enhancement of physical and mental health. However, participation
in sport and recreation activities also increases exposure
to the potential hazards and risks associated with such activities.
As more people participate in sport and recreation it is important
to ensure the potential for injury and accidents is minimised.
obviously increases the core body temperature. On average
a runner will expend 500-1500 kcal/hr depending on the experience
and fitness of the runner. Body metabolism means that energy
produced is 25% efficient. 75% of energy is used for the production
of heat; this can be difficult during summer running.
you drink adequate fluid 30-45 minutes before running and
then a cupful every 10-15 minutes. Experts have recommended
6-8 oz every 20 minutes while you run. Most popular sports
drinks have a low level of electrolytes and also carbohydrates
to helps speed up glycogen replacement. After exercise you
should try and drink more water than necessary to speed up
prefer the taste of sports drinks in comparison to plain water.
Experts have also recommended the use of carbohydrate protein
drinks or milkshakes to rapidly replenish glycogen stores
after a run. These drinks also help to catabolize muscles
for energy and help muscles repair quickly after a run. The
above advice can be used for all types of running conditions
but is especially important during summer running. This is
due to the warmer environment deplenishing glycogen stores
more quickly. In most cases runners suffer from heat stroke
and heat exhaustion due to poor hydration.
It is advisable
to gradually build up your tolerance for running on roads
in warmer conditions. To acclimatize to the heat you should
spend 1-2 weeks running from 2-6 miles a day and then gradually
building up your mileage in the heat. You may wish to run
in the morning or late evening when the humidity is at its
lowest. Alternatively if you are worried about your personal
safety then a treadmill in an air conditioned gym may a safer
• Use sunscreen
to prevent sunburn to your skin.
• Replace running shoes every 300-400 miles.
• Do not break in new running shoes before you race
or before a long run.
• Make sure you wear you running socks when you are
buying running shoes.
• Try and wear synthetic fibre socks which will help
to evaporate moisture away from your skin and prevent blisters.
• Control excessive foot sweating during summer running.
• Wear light weight shorts and t-shirts to allow for
evaporation of moisture.
• Monitor any medical conditions you may have such as
high blood pressure. Certain conditions can increase by summer
• DO NOT over estimate
your fitness, have realistic running targets.
used to be that all runners stretched before they ran, and
then there was a big debate. So now a lot of runners don’t
stretch. If you’re a beginning runner, what is the answer:
should you stretch before you run?
No, if you are
not going to stretch correctly. Improper stretching is the
second leading cause of running injuries to both runners who
do not stretch very much and to those who spend an inordinate
amount of time. Studies have shown that morning runners become
injured more often than noontime and evening runners, which
suggests that it is dangerous to stretch cold muscles. It
is hard to stretch muscles that are not loosened and warmed
up and you take the risk of tearing a muscle. A thorough warm-up
before stretching, or postponing stretching till later in
the day, may reduce the risk of injury. Be very gentle when
stretching prior to a run. If you have had achilles tendonitis
or tight calf muscles, you might find it helpful to stretch
about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile into your run. The muscles will
have warmed up and will be better prepared to be stretched.
You also have to be careful about how you stretch. You should
never bounce while stretching because you could tear or pull
the muscle you are trying to stretch. Also avoid stretching
too quickly, as the muscle will respond with a strong contraction
and increase tension. Do not stretch beyond the point where
you begin to feel tightness in the muscle, do not push through
muscle resistance, and never stretch to the point of discomfort
So now that
you know how not to stretch, how do you stretch? Well, first
of all you should know the benefits of stretching. Many experts
agree that stretching reduces muscle soreness after running
and results in better athletic performance. Gentle stretching
after a race or intense workout can also promote healing and
lactic acid removal from the muscles. Stretching is most effective
when performed several times each week; a minimum of one stretching
session per week is sufficient to maintain flexibility. A
predominance of coaches and runners believe in stretching
before and after every workout. Thus, a typical workout starts
with a 10- to 20-minute warm-up, followed by 10-20 minutes
of stretching, the main course, a post-workout stretch and
a warm-down jog.
Always remember to stretch slowly in order to avoid the contraction
reflex. By doing so, muscle tension falls, and you may stretch
the muscle further. Hold the stretch for 30 to 40 seconds.
You should try to build stretching into your regular schedule
both before and after your daily run. A good program should
include stretches for the calves, shins, hips, buttocks and
The miniumum strecthing before your run should be at least
three types of wall pushup's, the hamstring stretch, the heel-to-buttock
stretch, and the groin stretch.
1. Wall Pushup
Stand about three
feet from a wall, feet at shoulder width and flat on the ground.
Put your hands on the wall with your arms straight for support.
Lean your hips forward and bend your knees slightly to stretch
2. Wall Pushup #2
From the previous
position, bend forward to lower your body to waist height.
Bring one foot forward with your knee slightly bent. Lift
the toes of the front foot to stretch the muscle under the
calf. Stretch both legs.
3. Wall Pushup #3
Put your feet
together, rocking back on your heels with your hands on the
wall and your arms straight to form a jackknife with your
body. This stretches your hips, shoulders, and lower back.
Lie down with
one leg straight up in the air, the other bent with foot flat
on the ground. Loop a towel over the arch of the lifted foot,
and gently pull on the towel as you push against it with your
foot. Push only to the point where your muscles contract.
Stretch both legs.
5. Heel To Buttock
Stand on one
foot, with one hand on a wall for balance. Hold the other
foot with the opposite hand and raise the heel of the lifted
foot to the buttocks (or as close as comfortably possible),
stretching your quadriceps. Keep your body upright throughout.
Change legs and repeat.
6. Groin Stretch
Seated, put the
soles of your feet together. With your elbows on the inside
of your knees, gradually lean forward and gently press your
knees toward the ground.