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The fall season is upon us, which for many athletes is prime time for getting back on the football field, soccer field, tennis court and more. It’s a time to reconnect with friends, to work and play hard and compete with our best efforts.
This fall may feel quite different with the COVID-19 pandemic still going strong, so we’re here to offer advice on how to stay safe playing your favorite sports while still having fun. Just like any sport, with a little team effort, we can win this together.
If you’re 12 and older, making sure you’re fully vaccinated is key to staying safe both on and off the field or court. By doing so, you’re helping to keep your teammates safe and healthy as well. That’s a win-win.
While the idea of wearing a mask while playing sports may sound awkward at first, it’s very doable, safe and easy. Some rules to go by are: If you’re vaccinated, you’re encouraged to wear a mask while competing in indoor sports. If unvaccinated, we recommend wearing a mask for both indoor and outdoor sports.
Make sure your mask is fitted to your size and covers both your nose and mouth. If your mask becomes damp from sweat or dirty, change it out to help ensure its effectiveness. It’s always a good idea to pack a clean spare mask in your bag.
High-contact sports like football and basketball present a challenge to maintain physical distance while on the field. But you can still practice physical distancing off the field, in locker rooms or on buses if traveling. Reducing proximity as much as possible is the best strategy.
Don’t share anything like masks, water bottles, towels or clothing to avoid sharing germs. And avoid spitting — it’s unsanitary and can easily spread respiratory droplets.
Take Care of Yourself
Taking good care of yourself off the field is just as important as doing so on the field to keep you healthy. Make sure you’re getting plenty of rest with at least seven hours of sleep per night as well as mini-breaks during the day. A 15-minute nap, time to meditate or pray, and doing little things you enjoy for a mental reset works wonders to rejuvenate you from the inside out.
Eat a nutritious, balanced diet with plenty of healthy carbohydrates from whole grains to keep you energized, and lean protein to strengthen your muscles. Add a variety of fruits and vegetables, choosing from all the colors of the rainbow. Stay hydrated with lots of water. Men should get at least 15.5 cups of fluids per day and women should drink 11.5 cups. Remember, what you put into your body is what you’ll get out of it.
Keeping You Whole On and Off the Field
At AdventHealth, our top priority is keeping you healthy, safe and whole — in body, mind and spirit. We wish you a happy, healthy fall sports season and hope you have fun, too!
We’re here for you for all your health care needs. For important information and updates on COVID-19, check out our Coronavirus Resource Hub.