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Summer is Here

As Martha and the Vandellas sang back in the 1960s, summer's here! 

There's so much to do and we want to make sure we have a great time: walking, swimming, hiking, picnics, rounders, cricket, football and much more. Summer is the time to be active. It's important to get prepared for all this activity to ensure we can have fun all summer long. This is especially challenging when you sit at a desk Monday to Friday and can't wait to get started on Saturday morning. 

What happens to many of us on these gung-ho Saturdays is a range of unwelcome injuries - muscle pulls, tendon strains, ankle sprains, or worse. These injuries are unexpected and most unwelcome. They may restrict our activities for several weeks and interfere with our summer plans and summer fun. 

The solution is preparation. If you're older than 25, you have to prepare for physical activity. And even if you're younger than 25, it's still smart to prepare. Regular exercise during the week will prepare you for all your weekend summer fun. Exercise teaches your muscles to support heavy loads, and exercise teaches your joints how to handle mechanical stresses throughout their full range. The result is you're able to play sports and do your activities full out. You're already pre-prepared by the exercise you've done during the week. This doesn't mean you can go out on the tennis court and start serving at 100 miles per hour. Nor can you start your Saturday morning run at full speed.

It's still important to warm-up and loosen before reaching your peak, and be sure to do some cool-down activities afterwards. For most of us, the cool-down is just as important as the activity itself. Cooling-down helps us build muscle tone and improves flexibility.