Front yard football doesn’t come without risk
Thanksgiving is just around the corner and that means it’s time for family, friends, food and, of course, football. Having been a star player on your high school football team, a friendly game in the front yard is the perfect opportunity to prove you’ve still got moves. After all, high school wasn’t that long ago. But before you kick off Turkey Bowl 2014, here are five important things to remember to keep you out of the emergency room.
1. Time to Loosen Up
As with any sport, engaging in football when your body isn’t warmed up and ready can have painful results. For those who know playing a game or two is a near certainty come Turkey Day, squeeze in some conditioning exercises prior.
What you do before stepping onto the field — or lawn — can make a big difference. You need to get the blood pumping and muscles warmed up before you start pushing them to perform.
Stretching and taking a quick jog beforehand would definitely improve your game.
2. Gear Up
Donning the right footwear is another good idea. Cleats are preferable, but just about any athletic shoe will give you support and stability while minimizing the risk of slipping and, in turn, helping to prevent injuries.
3. Pregame Dose – Postgame Pose
If playing football isn’t part of your workout routine the other 11 months of the year, you’re bound to experience a little stiffness and possibly even some aches, pains, bumps and bruises. A pregame dose of ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help minimize discomfort. Postgame stretching and icing of those sore spots can have a big impact as well.
4. See A Doc
The most common injuries associated with even casual games of contact sports are knee ligament injuries, muscle strains and tears to the Achilles tendon.
5. Act Your Age
Remember to keep the games light and play for fun. The more competitive people get, the more likely it is someone will get hurt.
If Turkey Bowl leaves you with more than just bragging rights and you find yourself suffering the painful aftereffects beyond a week, you should seek medical evaluation. Persistent swelling and/or extreme pain warrants more immediate medical attention.