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Monday, September 24 News

The Running Doctor: Football conditioning

Football season is upon us and the game contributes to all the young players lives.

Youth football has 2.8 million players, high school has 1.1 million players and college about 68,000 players. Additionally, 1,696 players will be on the NFL’s opening day roster. This sport is not without risks and injuries. Therefore, to help prevent possibly being side-lined, it is important to have the proper approach to strength and conditioning.

Many players who have never followed any kind of strength and conditioning program must be trained more carefully in this contact sport.

All sports differ in speed, endurance, strength, flexibility, balance and coordination. There are many considerations a player must keep in mind when choosing this sport, such as muscular strength, flexibility, and a definite must would be endurance, especially if playing in hot weather.

Just as important, a player must acclimate himself to weather conditions, and his medical status must be evaluated as to asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes and faulty foot imbalances.

The individual program chosen must utilize muscle fitness with strength training and stretching workouts. A pre-exercise warm-up and after exercise cool-down should also be included in this particular program. From a nutritional aspect, the players have to eat the proper carbohydrates (fluids and foods) to maintain the strength for conditioning—eat to exercise.

Whatever level of athletics, the athlete must eat well, hydrate, rest and recover. These principles will allow you to reach your physical excellence.

Dr. Robert F. Weiss, a sports podiatrist, was a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Marathon Trials. Weiss is a veteran of 35 Marathon & has a practice in Darien; affiliated with Stamford Hospital and member of Stamford Health Medical Group-Foot & Ankle. For info visit his Web site at www.stamford

healthmedicalgroup.org, and find a Physician-Dr. Robert F. Weiss.

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