If you’re quick on your feet and don’t fancy the outdoor slush of a muddy pitch, but are looking for an energetic team game, have you considered the excitement of a fast-paced netball or basketball game?
Both games rely on speed, agility and dexterity. Not only that, but with specific rules about how you handle the ball and where you can move on the court – in netball, your position controls where you can go and what you can do – both netball and basketball are suited to fast movers and fast thinkers. On court, it’s crucial that you have great flexibility and stability, particularly in your feet and ankles, as you’ll often be turning on the spot.
Another favourite indoor sport that demands fast movement and agility is squash. Again, you’ll need to have strong ankles to cope with the pace, movement and change of direction that characterises this popular sport.
That’s why it’s essential you warm up and cool down properly. We talk about warm up and cool down sequences a lot at Bespoke Injury Management, but that’s because they’re so important to injury prevention and management. We recommend a dynamic stretch routine before you play – where you use movement in your stretching. And when you cool down, we think static stretches – the ones you hold for 30-90 seconds – are generally better.
A great warm-up or cool-down sequence will take you from the top of your head – stretching out your neck muscles and shoulders – through your core and down into your legs and ankles. Even a simple ankle-circle clockwise and anti-clockwise for a few seconds on each leg can make all the difference between a healthy game and one marred by a sprained or twisted ankle.
It’s also important you choose the right footwear for your sport. Sloppy, badly fitting shoes that make you slide over the court with no grip will do your body no favours. Instead, make sure you invest in properly fitting footwear with the right style and grip for the game you’re playing. Not only will your shoes make you more stable on court, they’ll probably make you faster and more responsive, too. That’s a win all round.
You might also be wondering if it’s OK to exercise through pain? Our general advice is that it’s not a good idea. What starts out as a small problem can easily turn into a full-blown injury, particularly if you don’t rest enough. That’s not to say you won’t get the odd aches and pains if you’re running around on court again, but if your pain lingers or worsens, it’s a good idea to get it checked out soon. Here at Bespoke Injury Management we’re always on hand to advise, reassure and treat, whatever your problem, so don’t hesitate to ask.
And finally, if netball, basketball or squash aren’t your thing, don’t forget this month sees the Great North Run, Ryder Cup and World Sailing Championships. So there's plenty to enjoy!
If you’d like pop in to see Donna Norman from Bespoke Injury Management, you can come to Oxford Street Therapy Centre in Wellingborough or call 01933 224454or 07814 396872. You can also email donna@bespokeinjurymanagement.