Certified Athletic Trainers Share Top Injury Prevention Tips for Physical Activity
DALLAS (March 1, 2002) - In order for any athlete to be at his or her very best, injury prevention and physical activity must go hand and hand, according to the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA). "Following an injury prevention plan, particularly one prescribed by a health care professional, could save many athletes from a lot of pain and in some cases it could save their lives," says NATA President Julie Max. This March is National Athletic Training Month 2002, and the theme is "Prevention: Avoid Injury - Stay Active." NATA encourages anyone participating in physical activity to incorporate these simple rules:
- Always have an emergency plan that includes access to a phone and first aid kit.
- Should a new injury occur, use RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation).
- When playing contact sports, always wear a mouthguard.
- Anyone exercising should drink 7-10 oz. of water or sport drink every 10-20 minutes.
- Maintaining good eating habits and proper nutrition will enhance performance.
- In severe weather, use the "flash-to-bang" method to avoid lightning danger. Count seconds between seeing lightning "flash" and hearing the "bang" of thunder. Divide by 5 to determine how far away -- in miles -- lightning activity is occurring. Be inside a safe structure by the time the count approaches 30 seconds (6 miles).
- Use proper and well-fitted equipment (including shoes) when playing sports.
- Before starting an exercise program, see your physician for a physical exam.
- For a healthier body and lifestyle, avoid tobacco, alcohol and other harmful drugs.
- Certified athletic trainers (ATCs) are allied health professionals who provide care for athletes and those involved in physical activity.
The NATA, based in Dallas, Texas, is the voice for nearly 22,000 ATCs across the country. The NATA's mission is to enhance the quality of health care for athletes and those engaged in physical activity, and to advance the profession of athletic training through education and research in the prevention, evaluation, management and rehabilitation of injuries.