Staying Healthy for Cross-Country Season

Staying Healthy for Cross-Country Season

If you have suffered an injury this cross country season, our expert Brooklyn orthopedist at Advanced Orthopedics and Joint Preservation can provide you with an abundance of treatment options. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer and how we can help keep you injury-free this fall.   

Staying Healthy as a Long-Distance Runner

We are currently in the middle of the cross-country season, a time where individuals and teams compete in long-distance races and show pride for their school. But whether you are a competitor or just a casual runner, long-distance running, especially cross-country running (where the terrain becomes a factor), involves a risk of injury. Our staff can educate patients on how to stay healthy in this cross-country season. In the unfortunate event that an injury does occur, contact Advanced Orthopedics and Joint Preservation, a Brooklyn Orthopedist, for a consultation and appointment.

Here are some recommended strategies that you can take in order to help yourself stay healthy during this cross-country season.

Increase your flexibility and range of motion.

Increasing your flexibility can reduce your chance of injury and enable your muscles to work more effectively. Implementing flexibility training into your fitness regimen can also help improve your range of motion, reduce lower back pain, and increase joint mobility. Components of a good flexibility training program include dynamic and static stretching, foam rolling, and yoga. However, if you experience significant pain while performing these activities, it’s important to consult an orthopedist, as it could be a warning sign of a more serious complication. If you’re experiencing significant pain while stretching, contact Advanced Orthopedics and Joint Preservation, a Brooklyn orthopedist. They can perform a full examination and address your health concerns with a clear diagnosis.  

Properly warm-up and cool-down.

Warming up before exercise raises your body temperature and increases the circulation of blood and oxygen to your muscles. This allows your muscles to perform more effectively and reduces muscle soreness after your workout. An effective warm-up routine should gradually increase your heart rate. Examples of effective warm-up exercises include jogging or cycling. It’s also important not to perform these exercises too far in advance of your workout, as the benefits of warming up will be lost after about 30 minutes of inactivity. Finally performing dynamic stretches (also known as active stretches) before exercise is a great way to activate your muscles and increase your range of motion. 

Properly cooling down after exercise is also an important component of injury prevention. An effective cool-down involves gradually lowering your heart rate and body temperature to pre-exercise levels. Examples of effective cool-down exercises include a light jog or a brisk walk. Finally, performing static stretches (what we think of as traditional stretches) and stretching muscles engaged during your exercise can improve flexibility and range of motion.

Eat healthily and stay hydrated

Staying healthy is not just about injury prevention, but about ensuring your mind and body are healthy enough for intense physical competition. Drinking plenty of water is essential, as water regulates your body temperature and carries nutrients to cells. Staying hydrated is of added importance for runners, as constant sweating increases the risk of dehydration.

Eating healthy is also important as food is the fuel athletes (especially runners) use to give them energy during exercise. Since runners burn so many calories, consuming plenty of carbohydrates, specifically from whole grain sources, is crucial to giving cross-country runners the energy they need for success. Eating a light meal that’s high in carbohydrates two hours before a run can give you boosted energy. Usually, you also won’t need to worry about your stomach getting upset as well.

Unfortunately one can take all the actions outlined and still experience an injury or setback. If you feel you need professional help, contact Advanced Orthopedics and Joint Preservation, a Brooklyn orthopedist. Our wonderful staff can work with you to address your medical concerns.

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