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Don’t be a Turkey this Turkey Bowl Season

Don’t be a Turkey this Turkey Bowl Season

Dr. Mike’s Cleveland Clinic sees plenty; so does Dr. Oz’s New York Presbyterian Hospital -- emergency room visits for sprains, broken bones, contusions and concussions following a traditional Thanksgiving Day pick-up football game. So here are tips that will keep you in good shape -- and won’t take a thing away from your day of fun.

Tip #1. Warm up. If you start off cold you’ll pull a hamstring or a groin muscle, so jog around as you check the field for holes and drains; do jumping jacks; or just jump up and down. Get your blood flowing and muscles moving. Your body will thank you later.

Tip #2. Don’t play tackle football and don’t wear cleats. You’re not on a school team with lots of good equipment (where’s your helmet and pads?) and you’re no pro. Cleats get caught; knees get twisted; heads get bumped. Wear running or tennis shoes and stick with two-hand touch.

Tip #3. Act your age. If your 18-year-old nephew runs by you, remember you’re older and smarter. Don’t sprint backwards to catch him; pass him off to someone his own age. Playing against your peers (your brother or college roommate)? Well, good luck. Did we mention mouth guards?

Tip #4. Don’t play with an injury; call it a day. Playing with -- or aggravating -- an injury will delay and prolong your recovery. It’ll also make the days following very painful, so let discretion be the better part of valor and head home for a nice slice of pumpkin pie.

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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