Be Careful When Starting Sports Again For Summer

1385151_588734281193210_22895203_nFinally the nice weather is here (or is it?) and we’re all looking forward to being outdoors and active. That’s great. But remember to take it easy, especially if you have been inactive all winter. It’s common to see overuse injuries increase as outdoor activities get going.

Emergency room doctors always note a spike in visits and injuries over Memorial Day weekend. I call it the Memorial Day syndrome. Often the weather is nice, good times are here and the temptation to get out and play hard is there.

Running the bases, throwing the ball, aggressive tennis or volleyball — we’ve all been there. Try not to compete too hard too soon or keep up with the kids. Let’s not run long distances if our body is not ready, or overuse injuries can be waiting for you.

The start of spring and summer is a great time to initiate a good walking or running program. If you’re just starting, I recommend walking for the first month or so, 15 to 20 minutes at a comfortable pace three or four days a week. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes and most importantly, get yourself a good pair of walking or running shoes. It is still very common to see people with the wrong shoes for their foot type, or just using shoes that are worn out.

If your shoes are pushing a year old, treat yourself to new ones and make sure you are fitted properly. New Balance Naperville, Naperville Running Co. and Dick Pond Athletics are places that you can count on to get the proper shoe for your foot type with the right fit. Whether you’re a newcomer or champion, you can be sure that they can help you.

If after a month or so of successful problem-free walking, you want to start running, great. Learning some proper warm-up exercises as well as cool down is important.

If tennis or golf is your game, again, ease into action, warm up properly and wear good shoes. If there is a history of foot or lower extremity problems or past running-related injuries then getting a foot mechanics evaluation or screening is important.

Free evaluations are available by appointment at my office.

The Sports Doctor article January 2009, “In sports it all starts with the feet” talks about many common foot-related problems. Other past articles talk about shin splints, runner’s knee, arch and heel problems and orthotics. Just go to and click on newspaper articles.

It’s a great time to get active. Just don’t overdo it.

Dr. Robert Weil is a sports podiatrist from Naperville with an office in Aurora. You can hear him on his weekly radio show at Wednesday’s 3 pm CST.

Contact Dr. Weil at and visit his website at

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    The Sports Doctor

    Born and raised in New York, I've practiced podiatry and sports medicine for over 30 years in the Aurora- Naperville area (almost BUT NOT QUITE LONG ENOUGH to lose my NY accent ). You can check that out for yourselves by listening to Sports Doctor Radio, on Join me live Wednesday's, 3-4 pm. CST. The Sports Doctor was formerly on WDCB 90.9 FM in Chicago for more than 20 years. The Sports Doctor is also read in newspaper columns including The Aurora Beacon News and the Naperville Sun. Also please 'like' my Facebook page, "Sports Doctor Radio" and follow me on Twitter @SportsDocRadio to keep in touch! Go to to hear many past shows and read my many articles. My specialty in sports medicine is orthotic therapy, combined with specific training and strengthening of the feet and ankles. I've been fortunate enough to have worked with some of the best athletes in all sports including many of the Super Bowl Bears back in the 80's, tennis greats John McEnroe and Tracy Austin, and numerous Cubs and White Sox. A true highlight of my career was watching Naperville's hometown figure skater Evan Lysacek, who I first saw as a nine-year-old and put orthotics in his skates, win the 2010 Olympic Gold Medal for men's figure skating with his orthotics (updated of course!) still in his boots. These high performance youngsters still remain my passion. Another big interest of mine is the challenge of our countries greatest epidemic: childhood obesity. Join me on Facebook and Twitter for updates on this important topic.

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