While some basketball and hockey teams are continuing their seasons in playoff action, many sports fans are excited by the beginning of the baseball season. Whether you play the game yourself, or have a favorite team, the spring is a great time to enjoy baseball. Nothing beats a night at the ballpark, or just catching a game on TV or the radio. By the time football gets going in September, baseball teams will be in the playoffs, and then the World Series.
For me, baseball is the best. No other sport is as exciting, or values both mental strategy and a broad range of physical talent. While some may call baseball “boring”, it’s truly far from that. Game-changing home runs, spectacular defensive plays, and amazing pitching are just some of the things that happen in nearly every game.
But enough about how great baseball is. Since this is primarily a health blog, I thought it would be a good idea to list some tips on how to keep yourself healthy while either watching or playing baseball.
- Be safe in the sun. Whether you’re watching a game at the ball park, or having a catch in the backyard, it’s always important to apply sunscreen to avoid a sunburn. Wear protective clothing such as a hat or visor to protect your face.
- Don’t chew like a big leaguer. While chewing tobacco (dipping, packing a lip, etc.) may be used widely by big league players and coaches, it’s harmful to your body.
- Players: Always warm up properly, especially your arms. Stretching and warming up is crucial for your muscles to be able to reach peak performance Playing or throwing without warming up can cause a serious injury such as a pulled or strained muscle.
- Players: Don’t overthrow, or overuse your arms. Overusing your arm is one of the easiest ways to get injured playing baseball. Pitchers, make sure that you abide by pitching limits in your league, and that you get enough rest after an appearance. If you have a sore arm, rest up, ice it down, and take an anti-inflammatory (such as ibuprofen) to help your arm recover.
- Stay Hydrated. Especially in warm summer weather, both fans and players should be sure to drink enough fluid to avoid dehydration.
- Male Players: Wear a protective cup. No explanation is really necessary here. Wear appropriate protective gear to avoid any serious damage or discomfort just in case a ball takes a detour. You won’t regret sacrificing some initial discomfort for the sake of your future reproductive health.
-Sam, YMH Summer Writing Intern