Taking pointers from Olympians

With the summer Olympics in London coming to a close, we here at the Red Cross would like to advise all amateur-Olympians at home to take a tip from the pros and learn how to properly stretch and how to practice water safety.  I planned on having a couple of athletes from the games give their advice but for some reason Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps declined my interview… Oh well, let’s see what the experts say about the importance of stretching. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, the main benefits of stretching are improving athletic performance and decreasing the risk of activity-based injuries.  Stretching increases flexibility and allows your joints to move through their full range of motion, decreasing the risk of injuries.  Synovial fluids are released while stretching which provides lubricant for your joints that decreases friction and the likelihood of injury. 

We believe that stretching can help avoid such injuries as strains, sprains, dislocations, muscle cramps, and pulled muscles.  To learn more about how to identify each and our first aid guide to treating these click here.

The Red Cross stresses that water safety is very important and to always swim with a buddy or in places where there is a lifeguard.  Despite Phelps’ undeniable prowess in swimming, every Olympic swimming event has a slew of lifeguards and emergency medical professionals.  No one, even Olympians, are immune to the dangers of drowning and having someone trained to do CPR and first aid can save a life. 

To learn more on how to become CPR or first aid trained click here.

For more information on water safety click here.

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