Tailgating for a Penn State Nittany Lions game at Beaver Stadium is genuinely second to none. This is especially true for the white-out game tomorrow! This tailgating and game experience can be loads of fun, but it’s important to take steps to avoid back injuries, especially if you’ll be carrying heavy coolers, grills, and other equipment. Here are five tips to help you prevent back injuries while tailgating:
- Use Proper Lifting Techniques. When lifting heavy items like coolers or grills, bend at your hips and knees, not your waist. Keep your back straight. Hold the item close to your body while lifting to avoid overloading your back. Lift with your legs, not your back, and push up with your thighs to stand.
- Pack Smart. Prioritize packing lighter items on top and heavier items on the bottom of your gear stack. This will both save your spine and avoid crushing lighter items, such as hot dog/hamburger buns. Use a rolling cart or dolly to transport heavy equipment rather than carrying it, reducing strain on your back.
- Share the Load. Don’t try to do everything on your own or tackle everything in one trip. Ask friends or fellow tailgaters for help when lifting heavy or bulky items. Much like Penn State beating Iowa will be a complete team effort, having everyone operate the tailgate like a complete team is a winning strategy, too!
- Use Comfortable Seating. Invest in comfortable, ergonomic chairs that provide good support for your back. Avoid sitting on uncomfortable surfaces for extended periods.
- Stretch and Take Breaks, plus Drink Water. Stand up, stretch, and walk around periodically to prevent stiffness and muscle fatigue. Gentle stretching exercises like knee-to-chest stretches or low back arching stretches can help keep your back flexible and away from pain. Dr. Emery is fantastic at teaching the correct and precise exercises to keep yourself out of pain while enjoying the weekend. Plus, don’t over-indulge in “adult beverages;” take some time to intake water to avoid dehydration injuries.
Remember that prevention is key when it comes to avoiding back injuries. By following these tips and taking precautions, you can enjoy your tailgating experience without putting unnecessary strain on your back. Go State!! Beat Iowa!! And to all those going to the game: show the nation why the White Out is one of the best environments in all of college football!