As July starts to wind down, if you have children, you may be thinking about back to school. If you are a sports fan, you might be following baseball, post-All Star break, and, if you are a football fan, we bet your mind is turning to those first kick offs that are right around the corner. Fantasy drafts? Digging through the garage for your alma mater’s logo flag for the front yard? Shopping for your kids and getting sports physicals and doctor appointments taken care of before they go back? Many of those things are on our August to-do lists.

We had the good fortune last week to enjoy an early taste of football here in Denver through our friends at OrthoColorado. Denver Bronco’s player, Emmanuel Sanders, is Ortho’s new brand ambassador, and we got invited to help out at The OrthoColorado Emmanuel Sander Football ProCamp® in partnership with giveSPORTS.

First of all, it is so much fun to see a professional athlete up close and personal! Sanders was energetic, kind, funny, and well-spoken, both to the media, and to the kids and visitors. His athleticism was stunning as we watched him “fooling around” with the ball. He is not a big man by NFL standards, and he talked about that in his remarks to the regular media.  We will post more about our exclusive interview with him next week. But, the other great thing about the partnership with OrthoColorado is that they brought one of their doctors to talk to the parents who were there about sports safety for the kids.

Dr. Patrick J. McNair, M.D. is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and is a member of the Clear Creek Valley Medical Society and the Colorado Medical Society. Before coming to Ortho-Colorado, Dr. McNair’s long list of accomplishments includes working for the San Jose Sharks and the Oakland Raiders early in his career.   Last week, Dr. McNair was kind enough to speak to parents and answer questions about their kids and about sports in general.  We are going to share some of that discussion in the next few blog posts.

First, Dr. McNair acknowledged that among the 400+ 1st through 8th graders in attendance, there very well might be a “future NFL player” in the crowd. Odds are, though, most of those kids will enjoy sports as amateur athletes for most of their lives and hopefully the love of sports becomes part of who they are as adults regardless. With that in mind, there are several important general points he made to the appreciative audience.

The most important message is obvious. They need to take care of their bodies. That means lots of things, but as it pertains to sports, there are some foundational points. Hydration was emphasized by several people throughout the day. For those of us who live at altitude, it is especially important, but it is critically important for all athletes at any level, and in fact, for all of us. We have heard the stories from past generations about “two-a-days” in the late summer where kids trained in football camps with little or no water. That is a thing of the past. Now we know, by hearing stories in the media if nothing else, that we need lots of water when we work out. Not sports drinks. Not energy drinks. Not juice. Water. Your muscles need water to remain limber and avoid strain and injury. Your brain needs water to function, and to keep your temperature regulated. Whether you are in dry or humid conditions, heat wears you down and water is the best remedy.

Then Dr. McNair talked about training properly. There is a lot to that, so we will address that in part 2 next week. For now, we leave you with the points on hydration. There are numerous studies with all kinds of motives to show us how critically important water is to our bodies and to our overall health. So, if you learn nothing else, please note that you need water when exercising, and the kids need water as well.

Do yourself a favor and make a conscious effort to add at least one glass more of water to your daily routine this summer. You will be glad you did. You will feel better and you will enjoy your activities more.  Stay tuned for additional insights from camp in the next post. We have three pages of detailed notes to share with you!

Happy Summer