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Five Things You Should Know To Prepare For Sports Participation In The Fall


The fall sports season is fast approaching, and there are a couple of things athletes can do to get ready. Amanda Orengo, MD, Primary Care Sports Medicine specialist at Crystal Run Healthcare, shares a few tips below for young athletes preparing for the season.

Preparation is key.

Always work up to strenuous exercise in a controlled, step-wise fashion. This will reduce the risk of injuries, heat illness, or overuse syndromes such as tendonitis, bursitis, and shin splints. A good idea is to begin a short running and conditioning program at home prior to the start of your sports season or pre-season. Exercise programs with a combination of light jogging and body-weight exercises, such as push-ups, pull-ups, planks, squats, burpees, and lunges, help develop endurance, cardio, and core strength.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Water is necessary for the human body to function during strenuous athletic activity, especially during the late summer and early autumn months. Dehydration is a real and severe condition that can easily be prevented with proper hydration. Mix water with other electrolyte-heavy drinks to avoid electrolyte disturbances or low sodium levels when you work out. Lastly, adequate hydration will optimize athletic performance and diminish overall recovery times.

Participate in heat acclimation programs.

Heat acclimation, or getting used to exercising in hot temperatures, is essential when participating in activities and exercise during the brutally hot days of late summer. Heat illness is a serious condition and, if not addressed promptly, can result in catastrophic outcomes. Never do strenuous exercise in the direct sunlight and heat without proper conditioning and heat acclimation. This is typically mandatory for high school football and soccer programs at the beginning of each season.

Maintain good hygiene habits.

Good hygiene is one of the best defenses for preventing the spread of illness among teams and young athletes. Hand washing is always important, either with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Never share water bottles with others. Avoid spitting on the ground or into your hands. Minimize droplet transmission by always covering your face while coughing or sneezing. These precautions not only minimize the transmission of COVID-19 but also other transmissible viruses and bacterial infections.

Schedule your yearly pre-participation sports physical.

Every athlete should participate in a yearly pre-participation sports physical before the start of the fall season. This includes an examination by a medical professional and clearance for safe performance in strenuous exercise. Also, as recommended by the American Society for Sports Medicine, COVID-19 vaccinations are encouraged for all young athletes above the age of 12 before participation in athletic activities and contact sports. All other childhood vaccinations, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are encouraged along with a yearly influenza vaccine.

At Crystal Run, our Primary Care Sports Medicine specialists provide leading-edge diagnosis and treatment for a range of hand, elbow, hip, knee, shoulder, ankle, back and sports-related injuries.  Additionally, our team of specialists focus on providing medical care for competitive and recreational athletes of all ages, for all sports, and at all levels of competition.

While guidelines for certain high-risk sports this fall are still unclear, we encourage all athletes to follow recommended safety precautions to keep themselves and their teammates healthy, safe, and ready to enjoy the upcoming fall sports season!

To schedule an appointment with a primary care sports medicine specialist at Crystal Run Healthcare, visit Follow the practice on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.


Amanda Orengo, MD, is a Sports Medicine physician and is  Board Certified in Family Medicine. Dr. Orengo treats people of all ages and has clinical interests in Primary Care Sports Medicine, Non-operative orthopedics, fracture care, concussion treatment, ultrasound-guided injections, and biologics including hyaluronic acid, platelet-rich plasma, and steroids, and Family Medicine. Dr. Orengo is seeing patients in Crystal Run Healthcare's Monroe and Newburgh offices.