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12 Ways To Avoid Sport Injuries

12 Ways To Avoid Sport Injuries

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[1] 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.

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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.[2]

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.

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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.[3]

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.

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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[4] 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.

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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.

Reference

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Junie Rutkevich

Game Developer of iXL Digital

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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