Among athletes, she says ankle injuries are most common, because ankles are a weak part of the body that tend to be overlooked when people are training.
“Athletes focus on bench pressing and quads, but you use your ankles all of the time. If you’re coming down from a jump shot and step on someone’s foot as you land, you can overturn your ankle,” she says.
While many injuries are preventable, the most common condition that can impede an athletes’ performance doesn’t involve joints or muscles at all.
“With the heat in South Carolina, athletes (and everyone, really) need to make sure they’re staying hydrating,” Woodard says.
Generally speaking, people should drink half of their body weight per day in ounces of water, she says, so someone who weighs 140 pounds should be drinking 70 ounces of water per day.
“And what you drink on the sports field or while working out doesn’t even count toward that,” she says. “I see kids cramping on the sidelines and I’ll pick up their bottle of Gatorade and ask, ‘How many of these did you drink today?’ and they’ll say half of one, when they should be drinking three.”
People should have the urge to urinate every hour or two, and their urine should be clear.
“That is a hydrated body,” she says.