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June 11, 2018

Health: Student Athletes’ Most Important Equipment

Cindy Cooke, PhD, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP 

While health is important for everyone, it’s doubly important for student athletes who have to be in top shape to represent their school and, in some cases, to maintain their scholarships. Here are some tips for the student-athlete in your life:

Know the rules of the insurance game: The Affordable Care Act requires students to have insurance or pay a fine. But for those who choose to pay the fine, the school or athletic association like the NCAA might require players to have insurance to participate.

Get your physical: Most athletic programs require students to get a physical and have their medical history up to date before participating in sports. Have your local NP check off both.

Have the right equipment: Safety while playing or practicing is critical to staying healthy. Always use proper safety equipment (helmets, pads, mouth guards and athletic equipment).

Stay healthy by living healthy: diet, sleep, stress, stretching and hydration – all of these are extra important for student athletes. Coaches and trainers will probably have some guidelines for student athletes to stay in top shape, and the NCAA also has some helpful resources for student athletes to educate themselves on healthy living.