Enjoying the outdoors more can bring attention to any old injuries and potentially cause new ones.
Spending more time outdoors exercising can result in injuries such as sprains or strains. The terms sprain and strain are often used interchangeably when discussing a painful injury to an area near a bone. However, they are caused by different types of injury to different types of tissue.
A strain is caused by an injury to a muscle or tendon from overuse, causing chronic strains, or from a twist to that area causing an acute strain. Common chronic strains are back injuries and tennis elbow. An acute strain is often caused by twisting or a blow to that area, such as a hamstring strain. Most minor strains heal within two weeks, but moderate to severe strains may take some months to heal the damage to ruptured muscle fibres.
A sprain is an injury to a ligament, commonly from overstretching the ankles or wrists after a fall. Sprains may be mild with a little pain on movement of the area and no long-term effects. Moderate to severe sprains result in tears to the ligament with bruising, swelling and difficulty putting weight or pressure on that area because of the pain.
If it has been a while since you have engaged in physical activity it is recommended that you ease into it to allow your body time to adjust and less likely to injure yourself. Working on your fitness and building yourself up to a full game, walk, hike or run, especially if you are prone to injury or are managing an existing one. Having the correct gear will also mean you will be less likely to become injured.