With the 2017 TriZou Triathlon and Duathlon right around the corner, it’s important to remember a few essential tips to keeping your body in shape before, during and after you compete.

First, and foremost — stay hydrated. When exercising, hydration is key. The easiest way to tell if you are drinking enough water is by the color of your urine. Dark urine is a good indicator you need more water, while pale yellow or colorless urine suggests you’re well hydrated.

Not drinking enough water can have a number of negative impacts on your health including increased heart rate as well as decreased muscular endurance, balance, strength and power. Staying hydrated is an investment in your overall health. By the time you feel thirsty, you might already be dehydrated.

In addition to keeping hydrated, incorporating a stretching and active warm-up program might help reduce your risk of injury. Stretching builds on your flexibility, allowing your body to move more freely when in motion. Depending on your exercise, you will want to focus on different parts of your body, such as your quads, hamstrings and lower back.

Prior to a workout, dynamic stretches such as lunging or kicking are great to get your blood flowing. To cool down after your workout, static stretches are ideal. Active warm-up programs include five to 10 minutes of jogging or biking to increase blood flow in your muscles. This has been found to be beneficial for your body prior to vigorous exertion.

Writer of the blog:
Seth L. Sherman, MD Assistant Professor
Department of Orthopedic Surgery Sports Medicine and Cartilage Restoration