Wow, does it feel like the summer just flew by? Although I can’t believe it’s already the start of the school year, I am eager for the fall to arrive, when the kids return to their school-year routines, and the rest of us are able to resume a little more normalcy.

The September newsletter is packed with great information, including the arrival of our newest massage therapist, Ayanna Crosse and physical therapist Miri Choe, and the introduction of a new stand-alone program by our physical therapist, Gina Hahn.

But just a quick note for our young athletes about the new school year. The start of the school year brings with it many challenges. This time of year, we see a tremendous uptick in the number of injuries in young athletes. We believe these injuries largely come from the change in routine when young people go from summer relaxation to school, without making proper adjustments to healthy activities.

For adults of student athletes, the biggest challenge is making sure young competitors remain injury-free. Here are my three “stay healthy” tips for young athletes:

1. Make Sleep a Priority. Sleep is when your body recovers. Aim for nine hours per night! That may sound impossible, so at least make that the target for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights (when you have no excuses).

2. Carry a Water Bottle With You (preferably a metal one). Staying hydrated has been shown to reduce the likelihood of injuries. New research shows that metal bottles are less likely to carry certain toxins than the plastic bottles, especially when the plastic bottles get hot.

3. Strength Train. Now is the time of year when strength training is most important. If you play a fall sport, your team may have begun their preseason toward the end of summer. Use your free weekends to squeeze in some core and stability training. If you play a winter or spring sport, now is the time to really work on your body.

Aside from the young people, we’ve got something for adults as well. I’m very excited to introduce what I think is going to be a transformative program for our patients at Capitol Rehab. We have spent years trying to figure out how to bridge the gap between rehab and full activity (For patients over 35, you know what I’m talking about!).

Here’s how it plays out:

— You came to us with an injury;
— You noticed improvements in your pain levels after rehab;
— You did the prescribed homework, and may have mastered the Bird Dog or Side Bridge;
— Now you want to get back to playing in your weekend basketball league or training for a mini-triathlon, or maybe you just want to feel stronger and more stable through your daily life.

Physical Therapist Gina Hahn has developed a six-session, in-office, group training class that focuses on restoring the six primary movement patterns that humans perform daily.

— Squat
— Lunge
— Hinge
— Push
— Pull
— Carry

You may be wondering why these actions are so primary to returning to competitiveness, and Gina explains. This program is perfect for those who’ve completed rehab and are ready to return to their daily lives without risk of re-injury.

We are excited to introduce this class and look forward to seeing you join us in starting new school-year routines that will make you stronger year-round.