The new school year is underway and it’s time to start enrolling children in after school sports programs. Keep your sports star healthy and injury free with these tips from Alberta’s chiropractors.

Warm up those muscles. Help prevent injuries and strains on muscles and joints—have your child begin with a slow jog to warm up legs and arms, and then do some stretching exercises for all muscle groups, from largest to smallest.

Make sure equipment and clothing fit properly. Youngsters tend to believe they are invincible—keep them safe by making sure they have the right equipment that fits properly for the sport they play.

Keep hydrated with H20. Ensure your child drinks plenty of fluids before, during and after physical exercise to stay hydrated—sports drinks might taste sweeter, but water is best.

Eat properly. Nutrition is also very important for your young star. The calcium in milk and dairy products is essential for healthy bones and reduces the risk of joint and muscle-related injuries. A good, balanced breakfast is the most important meal of the day and sets your child up for optimal functioning throughout the day. Eating a healthy meal or snack before and after each practice or game will help provide nutrient replenishment and refuel the body.

Get plenty of rest. Eight to 10 hours of sleep is essential for growing and energetic athletes. Lack of sleep can catch up with your child and decrease performance—not to mention increasing the chance of injury.
If your child experiences a sports-related injury, seek professional health care attention. Doctors of chiropractic are trained to treat sprains and strains in all age groups and can provide advice on sports training, nutrition and injury prevention for young athletes

More information, including where to find a chiropractor near you, can be found at www.albertachiro.com.