Missing Summer Sports? Here Are 5 Things to Try
Summit sports medicine expert Jack Skendzel, M.D., shares some ways to enjoy the summer sports season while socially distancing.
Many people look forward to summertime — vacations, sunny days, and more time outside. But in 2020, even the simplest summer pleasures can be complicated. If you look forward to outdoor team summer sports, from soccer and basketball to baseball, softball, or swimming, you may be wondering whether it’s safe to participate this year.
“Sports are a great way to engage in physical activity to stay in shape and enjoy the outdoors. When it comes to group sports in particular, many people also enjoy the social aspect of it,” Dr. Skendzel said. “The key is figuring out ways to fill those needs — social interaction, physical activity, and being outdoors — while being safe.”
So, how do you safely engage in outdoor summer sports to enjoy some normal summer pleasures in this not-normal world? Here are some ideas to try this summer:
Summer Sports Tip 1
Not all summer sports need to be organized games. Start a family walk tradition — getting outside and enjoying social time can be as simple as going for a walk with your family.
Summer Sports Tip 2
Take a look at solo summer sports — cycling and running can both be good ways to get great cardiovascular exercise and stay in shape. For running in particular, make sure to start slowly. “People new to running can benefit from coaching to make sure they work up to running safely,” Dr. Skendzel said. “The Summit team can help you avoid injury as you run.”
Summer Sports Tip 3
Try something new — yoga, for example, can be easy to learn with the aid of online videos. You don’t need expensive equipment, and you can do it outside if you’d like.
Summer Sports Tip 4
Get creative with ball sports — summer sports that use a ball, like soccer or baseball, require at least one other person. “It’s not impossible, but you’d have to be smart and socially distance,” Dr. Skendzel said. A small group of friends could get outside and work on passing a soccer ball, for example.
Summer Sports Tip 5
Keep gatherings small and distanced — be careful and deliberate in planning gatherings, so that they are limited to a few people who have agreed to maintain appropriate distance for the protection of everyone.
“It’s not that you can’t do summer sports, but that you have to be smart and socially minded about it,” Dr. Skendzel said. “We want you to be outside and doing things for the physical, emotional, and social benefits of sports. That’s why we all do it.”
As always, the Summit Orthopedics team is here to help as you enjoy summer activities safely.
Summit Orthopedics offers comprehensive sports medicine expertise
From Olympians to pro athletes to kids in youth sports and those that just want to be more active—Summit Orthopedics delivers expert care by fellowship-trained sports medicine physicians. If you are recently injured or concerned about ongoing pain, Summit Orthopedics sports medicine specialists have the expertise to evaluate your discomfort and develop a plan to quickly and safely help you get back to being active.
Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Plymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as several additional community clinics.
Ask the Expert: Running Video Series
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Curious about yoga? Dr. Skendzel and his team have some suggestions for safely making yoga a part of your exercise program.