The weather in Houston, Texas, is cooling down. However, many athletes in the area aren’t letting this keep them back from playing their favorite sports. At NASA Bone & Joint Specialists, we understand that it’s important to keep yourself safe this season to stay in the game, so we’ve listed some important ways to stay safe while playing sports in the cold weather:
1. Stay Warm
This is an important tip during both activity and rest. You want to make sure your body can perform properly by keeping it at the correct temperature. Wear a thin layer next to the skin to wick away sweat during activity, top with a layer of fleece for insulation, and wear a water proof, breathable outer layer as the final layer. Keeping warm can prevent your muscles from becoming tight and losing their range of motion, which in turn prevents a potential injury. If you begin to feel too hot, simply remove one of the layers as you feel comfortable.
2. Examine the Field
If you are playing a field game, such as football or soccer, take a minute to examine the field beforehand. In the Houston, Texas, winter, the rainfall amount usually increases. This could mean there is slippery mud or even frost on the ground which can cause an injury-inducting fall. Examine the field before the game, and be on the look out for any areas that look particularly muddy or frosty. If the conditions don’t look safe, you may want to reschedule the game or find an indoor venue to play in.
3. Warm Up Before the Game
Another tip to safely play sports in the cold weather is to warm up thoroughly before hand. This helps loosen the muscles and promotes blood flow, allowing your muscles to become limber and ready for activity. For the colder weather, aim for at least a 10-minute warm up to get your body ready for the lower temperatures.
4. Recognize Signs of Hypothermia
While hypothermia is not usually a concern for most people in Houston, Texas, athletes playing in low temperatures for extended periods of time may be at risk. It’s important to know the signs of hypothermia to prevent serious injury in case it does develop. If you begin to shiver uncontrollably, slur your speech, or feel confused, immediately go indoors and slowly warm yourself up.
5. Stay Hydrated
Athletes may feel as though the colder weather means that they do not need to focus on drinking as much water as they do in the summer months. However, dehydration is still a concern even in the winter weather, as you will still sweat and lose water. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids during your game to avoid the injury risks associated with dehydration, such as cramps or strains.
Winter weather often doesn’t hold back athletes from doing what they love. However, it is vital to keep yourself safe when playing in cold weather to prevent injury that can take you out of the game. For those who have suffered sports injuries and want to get back to their favorite sports, give NASA Bone & Joint Specialists a call at (281) 333-5114. We are a leading name in sports medicine in the Houston, Texas, area.