Summer camps are an exciting opportunity for kids to meet other athletes and work with different coaches. It is a FUN time to test their skills, play with new ideas, and train something differently in order to surpass their “sticking” points.
If it is a first time camper or a seasoned veteran, there can be opportunities to also stumble across new pains, or is it just soreness? There are many benefits to exercising and training differently through the summer months, but camps can accelerate these two issues and it can be confusing!
Physical Activity improves sleep and helps athletes maintain their camp strength and stamina. Camp activities can lead to a new injury or even flare up old injuries. Is this discomfort after pushing the body? Is this good physical activity that can cause normal muscle soreness and fatigue? If the attempts at new skills and techniques lead to this, then it is a fun way to get sore muscles! However, pain or an increase in discomfort that lasts may mean it is more of an injury that will require rest and attention beyond the camp days.
Do more than muscles get sore? Yes! Our gymnasts often will have sore joints from the increase in pounding or trying to land that new skill. Depending on how long camp activities last, all of the soreness should be gone in a few days as the peak is between 24 and 72 hours after the activity. Anything after that, may require some extra time to recover. Stay active and see if the pain or soreness goes away, not the new camp skills!
Jamie Broz, ATC is a Certified Athletic Trainer and co-founder of the Center for the Female Athlete, Dayton, OH