As spring turns to summer, it’s time to consider getting ready for summer sports. Sports are a lot of fun. They help you stay healthy, meet new people, and teach you about teamwork. If you’ve never played a sport before, it’s a chance to try something new. But sports also take a lot of hard work and practice. Here are some ways to help you get everyone ready for new summer sports:
Get in shape. Being in shape will help you have an easier start to your sport season. Start by writing down an exercise plan. If you can’t make it to a gym or don’t have a lot of time, there are lots of exercise apps and online workouts you can try at home. Areas to target are strength, endurance, flexibility and coordination for both young and older athletes.
Pay attention to weather forecasts and heat alerts. Exercise in the morning or evening, when it’s likely to be cooler outdoors. If possible, exercise in shady areas or do a water workout in a pool. Get at least 150 minutes of aerobic physical activity every week. Physical activity has immediate benefits for your health: better sleep and reduced anxiety are two. Use shade, wide-brimmed hats, clothing that covers, and broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15 for sun protection. Stay hydrated and eat a balance of lean protein and carbs. Eating for sports should be another part of healthy eating for life.
Write down your goals for the week and the workouts you plan to do. Schedule specific workout times. This will help you stay motivated and stick to your exercise plan. It will also help you keep track of what activities you did.
Set realistic goals. While you get ready for the start of your sports season, think of what you want to achieve. Small, specific goals are easier to achieve and can build toward your bigger goal. If you reach your goal, set new goals to work toward. Having goals can be a great motivator!
Check your gear. If you’re returning to your sport, try on your equipment to make sure it still fits and works for you. If you’re new to a sport, ask for help at a local store. You can buy your gear secondhand too. Make sure all your gear is clean and safe to use.
Consider a local sports program. Many local facilities have programs that help new and experienced players learn or practice skills before the season starts. You can join a local gym. If gyms and seasonal sports don’t seem appealing to you, take a walk or a bike ride through a local park. Do something that will get you moving, and something that you will enjoy.
See your doctor. You may want to get a physical before you to try out or play. If you wear glasses, consider visiting your eye doctor to check your prescription and get the right protective eyewear.
Whether you’re training with a team or on your own, remember to include rest time into your schedule. Make sure you take at least 1–2 days off per week from competitive sports and training.
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