From improving health to enhancing self-esteem and boosting mood, the benefits of participating in sports cannot be gainsaid. However, sports put a substantial amount of stress on your muscles and there is always a risk of injury. That’s why it is important to practice safety whenever you take part in your favorite sport. Check out these 12 surefire ways to help your body avoid sport injuries every time you are out participating in sports:
1. Take Proper Training
The best way to avoid sports injuries is simply taking the proper training to ensure that you know what you’re doing at all times. That’s because, according to various studies, the use of poor technique and the wrong use of sporting equipment are the biggest causes of sports injuries. If you intend to go out paddling for example, consider learning all you can about paddle board safety before you hit the waters.
2. Have Regular Breaks
Most sports are very demanding on the muscles and that can lead to all types of injuries. The risk of injury is increased by the fact that some sports require continuous use of a specific group of muscles. Taking a rest for a few days, or even an entire season, can help repair these muscles and prevent possible injuries.
3. Stay Hydrated
Lots of body fluid is used up during sports through perspiration, which can lead to dehydration. Dehydration increases the risk of muscle cramps that can cause aggravating pain. To avoid this, always take water breaks every 30 minutes while you play your favorite sport.
4. Use Proper Safety Gear
There is always a risk of injury in every sport and that’s why it’s important to have the right equipment to keep you safe. If you are involved in soccer, make sure you wear the appropriate training attire and shoes before you head out to the pitch. Similarly, cycling enthusiasts should put on helmets to keep them safe in the case of accidents. In Illinois alone, there were 24 fatalities and 3,464 injuries in bicycle accidents, according to the Department of Transportation.
5. Always Remember To Warm Up
Warming up increases blood flow to your muscles and prepares them for intense stress. Skipping warm ups in intense sports, like tennis and soccer, can lead to all types of injuries, including dangerous cardiac stress and soft tissue damage. For this reason, always warm up before you start training.
6. Intensify Training Gradually
Your body takes time to get better at physical sports and you should never expect to be at your best in a week. Compelling the body to reach top performance within a few days increases incidences of injury and will actually be counterproductive. It is important to increase the intensity of your training sessions, preferably by 10% every week to allow your body to recover and build itself up.
7. Get a Pre-Participation Physical
Getting a pre-participation physical exam before starting out will allow for the screening of any conditions that could increase the risk of injury and enable you to take the necessary measures to address the conditions before you start out. Let’s say you are a golfer, taking a physical exam helps examine the state of your muscles and ribs to ascertain that you are fit to play and increase the chances of avoiding golf injuries.
8. Make Sure Your Equipment Fits
Poorly fitting sports equipment, attire, and shoes can increase the risk of injury when training. For instance, wearing the wrong size of soccer shoes will cause discomfort and reduce your concentration and that can make your more prone to injuries. Always try out your equipment before participating in any sport and if it doesn’t fit well, find one that fits.
9. Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
Physical sports like bodybuilding are very demanding on the muscles and the bones. If you don’t eat a well-balanced diet, the active muscles will not heal properly and your bones will weaken, making you more susceptible to injuries. Make it a priority to have well-rounded meals every day to help your body recover faster after training.
10. Listen to Your Body
Most sports injuries are avoidable if you pay close attention to how you feel. Often, athletes end up with injuries because they did not take some discomfort they had before participation seriously. If you feel something is wrong or for some reason your body isn’t performing as well as it normally does, take a rest or see a doctor. A dental hygiene appointment isn’t just about teeth cleaning and a vision test isn’t just another medical eye evaluation. They may just be small things, but if you have some dental or eye discomfort, then don’t continue participating until you have reached your former level of fitness.
11. Mix Things Up
Participating in one type of sport puts a lot of stress on one group of muscles over time and that is likely to put those muscles at risk of injury. On the other hand, participating in different types of sports, or changing up your routine regularly, will help in taking stress off a group of muscles, promote recovery, and help reduce the risk of injury.
12. Take Care of Your Mind
A poor state of mind can lead to poor concentration when participating in sports and that can increase the risk of injury. Always make sure you are not stressed out before you participate and if you are, take time off to rest or seek counseling. You may also want to consider meditation or yoga to keep your mind healthy.
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