Once every four years the world is privileged enough to watch some of its most talented athletes compete for the honor of the gold, silver and bronze and the chance to say, “I’m an Olympic medalist.” With athletes ranging in age from 15 -71, it’s one of the most exciting compilation of sporting events known to man.
I love the Olympics so much that sometimes I pretend I’m an Olympian. I know what you’re thinking to yourself, “Isn’t she an adult?” And the answer is yes I am, but a vivid imagination never hurt anyone right? In fact, Hiroshi Hoketsu, the oldest Olympian in the London 2012 games, said one of the ways he stays in shape is to, “have a good life, enjoy yourself and do the things that make you happy.” I plan on living by these words, after all he is a three-time Olympian.
Reality sets in every time I see new world or Olympic record broken. It especially set in (as if it hadn’t 14,300 time before ) when Missy Franklin did in 58.33 seconds what it takes me more than two minutes to do. I hate admitting to myself, that no, Jade, you are not an Olympian.
One thing to remember, although they are some of the most fit, strong and amazing athletes in the world, they are just that, athletes. They experience injuries just like all athletes. If left untreated, sports injuries can turn into something more complicated and can begin to not only affect your athletic career but can be bothersome during your everyday activities.
Powerbar offers so great tips on avoiding injuries. They even break it down sport-by-sport. For a few general rules of thumb, remember to:
- Participate in a conditioning program to build muscle strength and endurance gradually, over time
- Be sure to follow an appropriate warm-up and cool-down regimen, including flexibility exercises
- Stay hydrated
- Eat a well-balanced diet. Click here to see Michael Phelps diet
- Don’t continue to play if you are injured
- Check your sporting equipment prior to participation for damage and proper function, and clear away any debris from your playing area
Follow these tips and who knows, maybe you’ll be the next Missy Franklin or Michael Phelps!
If during your Olympic training you find yourself injured, Drs. Matthew Schellenberg and Nichole DeLaPlante are family medicine physicians who have special interests in sports medicine and can help. Both are both athletes so they understand the athletic mentality but also understand the importance of treating a sports injury and getting you back on your feet.