Geneseo’s head trainer tells us how to be prepared for play at any age.

VIDEO: Meet Sue Chichester and learn how she prepares for bicycling.

Nearly 450 student-athletes compete as part of the Geneseo Intercollegiate Athletic Department. This year, they won a total of 13 SUNY titles.

Head Athletic Trainer Angelo Zegarelli ensures they are competing at peak performance. With over 20 years of experience, he knows his way around sports injuries. He will tell you that prevention is the key to staying out of the training room to address an injury, no matter what age you are.

“Whether you are getting ready to compete for a national championship, or digging out your glove for the first time in 20 years to fill in for your buddy’s Tuesday night softball league, there are certain steps anyone can take to make sure they can function the next morning,” said Zegarelli. “As we get older, our bodies don’t respond like they did when we were teenagers, but that doesn’t mean we should relegate ourselves to the sidelines or stop having fun and being active.”

Zegarelli’s tips for hitting the ground running (or walking!)

1. Exercise regularly. 

Stay in shape all year. Lift weights, do cardio and work on flexibility.  Don’t show up the first day of recreation league and have it be the first time you’ve worked out all year.

2. Warm up before exercise. 

Get the blood flowing to your joints and muscles. It will help prevent injury and get you ready to start fast.

3. Ease out.

Take time to cool down gradually and spend time stretching afterwards. It will prevent soreness in the days that follow. It keeps blood flowing and prevents muscles from tightening up.

4. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. 

Drinking plenty of water daily helps our bodies flush out waste more effectively.

5. Eat right. 

A healthy diet will help maintain a healthy weight, which, in turn, takes stress off your heart, lungs, muscles, bones and joints. It will also promote recovery, bone health and performance while preventing fatigue, cramping
and illness.

6. Sleep. 

The body’s ability to recover from day to day is all about the amount of rest you get.  Most brain and tissue repair happen during sleep. Everyone is different, but at least seven hours of sleep is typically recommended.

7. Listen to your body! 

The days of playing while hurt are over, especially if you want to get up for work tomorrow.

8. Wear and use proper equipment.

Make sure you have good shoes that are intended for your sport. Wear goggles and a helmet when appropriate, and clothing that’s appropriate for the heat or cold. Don’t use equipment that’s cracked or broken.

Watch Sue share the benefits of staying active: