Athletes adapt to new training, physical health reality

Athletes adapt to new training, physical health reality

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Sporting events around the world, including the 2020 Summer Olympics, have been postponed or canceled. Some gyms in our state closed down and moved to the virtual world to train its clients.

It’s a way to adapt to prevent the spread of COVID-19. And, working out from home and away from crowds is what Dr. Jeffrey Guy with Prisma Health Orthopedics recommends.

"Go back to the basics and maintain what you have," said Dr. Guy.

If the basics fail to inspire, former Clemson Tiger linebacker, Ben Boulware, provides a virtual game plan. The Co-Founder of "The Junkyard," located in Anderson and Greenville, closed the doors to in-person traffic.

"We're trying to be creative and mimic the class environment as much as possible," Boulware added.

Boulware provides training videos to clients via Instagram. He admits it's a weird feeling.

"They're my second family," Boulware said. "We're not able to see them. That's the most difficult thing, not being around the people."

On the high school level, Spring Valley High School Football coach, Robin Bacon, works with college coaches to provide online workouts to do at home for his athletes.

Coach Bacon wants high school athletes to stay away from groups and training facilities during this time.

"The biggest thing is just being safe," Bacon added. "Just be safe and not put themselves in a dangerous situation or their families."

Coach Bacon is concerned some young people around the country will be tempted to train in groups, despite warnings from the medical community and state government to social distance.

"The problem is you got people out there who are personal trainers that are really in it for the money," Bacon added. "Stuff is getting out on social media, and kids feel like they're getting behind because they're not able to be out there and work. I think it is disingenuous people are doing it because they're putting kids at risk."

South Carolina team doctor, Jeff Guy, reiterates use this time to maintain, which you can do safely from home.

"Dig deep in the old ways with how we used to do things when we didn't have these massive gyms," added Dr. Guy.

High school and college-aged athletes still look to train, to maintain peak performance when athletics resume.

"It comes back to normalcy, how do we bring some normalcy to these kids' lives," owner of Athletes Arena Jason Brunson said.

At Athletes Arena in Columbia, Brunson limits capacity to four kids at a time. They wear medical gloves, clean non-stop, and do not share equipment during sessions.

"Make sure we're doing it in a clean and workable environment," Brunson added.

Cardinal Newman junior basketball player, Josh Beadle, misses the camaraderie with his peers.

"It's hard," Beadle said.

Athletes Arena provides online virtual workouts, as well to its clients.

Dr. Guy, with Prisma Health Orthopedics, believes in exercising caution and staying away from gyms or fitness facilities.

"Education is key," added Dr. Guy. "It's hard to educate people to take something they can't see seriously. One of my friends said he was on the way to the gym, and I said, 'Bad idea.' It's no different than when I have patients that do too much after having surgery because it doesn't hurt anymore. It's very hard to tell people that feel perfectly fine not to do things because they feel fine and feel like they can."

"I feel like a lot of people feel like they're going to lose what they have," Dr. Guy said. "You just need to maintain it. You don't need to build muscle for the next two weeks. Going for a run on your own or a walk, those are fine."

"People forget they can be carriers," Dr. Guy reiterated. "It's probably not the best thing to put yourself in arenas that have high traffic."

At Prisma Health Orthopedics, Dr. Guy adds they've shifted to telehealth unless an emergency arises or the situation dictates an in-office visit.

"Patients think it's pretty cool," Dr. Guy replied. "It's a good experience and way for me to check on the kids without having to go down there or them having to go in as well."

Elective surgical procedures must wait.

"At the end of the day, not being around anybody and them not being around us is probably the best answer to help get rid of this faster."

On a positive note, Dr. Guy says it allows injured athletes time to heal. However, those that need surgery to repair an injury, if it’s not urgent, must wait, which can be difficult for the athlete.

“A lot of conscious worry about those kinds of things,” added Dr. Guy. “Is my injury going to be taken care of fast enough to play next year? All I know is we have to get through this. It’s hard. My patients ask, ‘When I can have surgery?’ We’re just going to have to wait and see. Once things start to become normal, kids have to get back in shape. They can’t jump back into a game.”

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