8 Ways to Prevent Sports-Related Injuries
Sports are a great way to keep active and physically fit. Depending on what sport that you enjoy playing, it is possible to hurt you could accidentally injure yourself. You are more at risk for injury if you play a contact sport. The more contact play there is in the game the more susceptible to injury you are. Did you know that there are over 10 million sports-related injuries each year? These injuries cost people time, money, and potentially their long-term health depending on the nature of the injury.
Prevention is the best way to protect yourself from injury. Always use the following tips to help prevent sports-related injuries!
Wear the Right Gear
When you are playing sports, it is important to make sure that you wear the right gear. You want to find gear that is made specifically with your sport that you are participating in. If you play multiple sports, you will more than likely need different types of equipment for each activity.
The wrong kind of gear could cause you to injure yourself or even cause injuries to other people. For example, you don’t want to wear football cleats while playing soccer or vice versa.
Don’t forget to wear your safety gear even during practice! However, don’t be fooled into thinking that the protective gear will prevent all injuries especially those that carry a higher risk.
Take Time Off
Plan to take some time off from practice and games. Your body needs time to rest and recover. Over-training can cause injuries due to fatigue alone. When your body is tired, you aren’t always thinking clearly and it could lead to an injury.
Play by the Rules
Make sure that you follow the rules when you are playing. If you don’t follow the rules you are potentially setting yourself up for injuring yourself or someone else. For example, most baseball leagues don’t allow you to slide into base head first. Always discuss the rules with your coach or league before you play.
Here is an example of a rule that was broken by a baseball player: Joe decided to slide into home plate in order to gain a run for the team. However, he ended up sliding into the catcher’s shoe. Lucky for him, he only ended up with a small knot on his head. It could have ended up worse. He could have easily ended up with a neck or back injury called spondylolysis (fracture in your vertebra).
Enjoy Your Breaks
Often times coaches are paying attention to the overall health of the players on the field and will call a substitution when they notice that a player is tired. If your coach calls you off, don’t argue about not getting enough playing time. Instead, enjoy your break and take the chance to get re-hydrated. Once you have had a chance to rest briefly, your coach can allow you to go back into the game as needed. Don’t forget to rest during practice too!
Don’t Forget Strength Training
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Strength training enables you to perform better because you have leaner muscles, more strength, and energy to do more. It also helps you reduce your chances of injuring yourself due to weak muscles. Have you ever noticed that you are more clumsy when your not in shape?
Warm Up and Cool Down Properly
Take the time to stretch your muscles and warm up before you start any type of sports activity. Gentle stretching helps increase your flexibility and helps warm up your muscles, joints, ect. Once you have completed practice or a game, don’t forget to cool down too. This will help prevent your muscles from cramping up.
Make sure that you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day and during any activity. When you are sweating, you are losing fluids and those fluids need to be replaced. Plus, staying hydrated helps prevent cramping, dehydration, and heat exhaustion.
Stop If You Feel Any Pain or Are Injured
If you do injure yourself, make sure that you stop what you are doing. You don’t want to hurt yourself even further by continuing to play while you are hurt especially if you have a back injury like spondylysis. Untreated spondylolysis can cause the condition to progress even further to a condition called spondylolisthesis. Spondylolisthesis is a diagnosis that is made when the affected vertebra slips forward relative to the vertebra below. You always want to consult with a physician to determine the nature of your injury.
Don’t forget to use these tips to prevent sports-related injuries! Sports-related injuries could cause you to lose time, money, and it could even affect your long-term health.
Photo Credit: Pixabay