Sport is one of the most effective physical activities to deliver innumerable health benefits. Sports improve your mood, concentration, and sleep patterns. It also helps to reduce stress and depression, improve self-confidence, and sustain a healthier weight. But sometimes sports can also result in an injury.
You can choose so many sports choices from – basketball, football, baseball, volleyball, and badminton, among others. As human beings, however, we are not immune to certain injuries.
If you’re playing sports for fun or fitness, you don’t want to be sidelined with an injury. Time away from the game or forced inactivity is something we all want to avoid. Although it is impossible to avoid any injury, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons claims research suggests that sports injury rates could be lowered by 25% if athletes take appropriate preventive action.
It’s a lot of fun to play games. But getting injured is not. You need to take these few steps to avoid injuries so you can stay in the game.
Causes of sports injuries may include:
- Inappropriate or poor training methods.
- Wearing the wrong sporting gear can result in sports injury.
- Being in bad health conditions.
- The inappropriate practice of warm-up or stretching during a sports event or workout.
Common sports injuries include:
- Sprains and strains;
- Joint fracture (knee, shoulder, ankle)
- Muscle damage
- Achille tendon injuries
- Pain around the shin bone
How can you avoid a sports injury?
Here are some basic steps to avoid a sports injury:
1. Body basics to remember
The secret to success in any game or exercise is to take care of the body. This includes ensuring that:
- You are hydrated
- Eating the best food to fuel your body for exercise
- And not exhausted
If you’re an athlete or a mentor, knowing when you’re exhausted is vital to avoiding sports injury. When a person is tired, he or she does not have the same muscle strength, vision, and capacity to respond and avoid injury to his or her body. It is important to remember that exhaustion is one of the causes of injury. So, you can avoid injury by ensuring that you have a proper rest and avoid playing if you display any fatigue symptoms.
Your body (and mind) should be trained for your main workout session by
- Slowly increase the heart rate
- Warm muscles and connective tissues
- Increased mobility
- Improve the functionality of all body movements
The end result is that you will be far less likely to get muscle or tendon strain because your muscles will be warm, loose, foldable, and ready for your exercise.
How should you warm-up?
Using the same equipment or practice as your main session, exercise at a low intensity for about 10 minutes. Then steadily increasing your pace and speed to a level close to your main session’s target pace. For example, a warm-up on the rowing machine is perfect before a rowing workout because you are hitting the same muscle groups and doing the same movements.
Maintaining or developing flexibility is extremely important to prevent sports injury. It is because poor flexibility is one of the primary causes of muscle and tendon strains. Reduced flexibility is equivalent to short, tight muscles that are particularly susceptible to damage during dynamic physical exercise.
How should you stretch?
After your cool-down, concentrate on stretching the main muscle groups you used for your activity. For example, after running, you should focus on stretching your leg, while at the gym, you should focus on stretching your chest, shoulder, back, and arm.
4. Don’t forget to cool-down.
Equally important is how one cools-down to avoid muscle tears and sprains. Specialists recommend 10 minutes of easy exercises that are similar to the activity you did. For example, if you’re a soccer player who’s been running for a whole game, it’s recommended to walk 10 minutes later.
Be sure to focus on deep breathing and give yourself some extra time to stretch your muscles during your game or workout. Use this time to drink plenty of water and enjoy an easily digestible snack, such as fruit, for refuelling. Cool-down is also the time to tell if anything has been hurt and to seek appropriate treatment. Common minor injuries to look out for are contusions, Charley horses, and ankle sprains. If you do not handle these injuries properly, and you do not recover, the injury will worsen and predispose you to other injuries. It is important to remember that taking it slowly and allowing minor injuries to heal is critical to your long-term success and health.
5. Wear protective gear
You can’t tell if you’re going to encounter accidents or emergencies in the middle of the game. You should be ready. Wear safety gear, tools, and devices that can protect you from accidental injury. This includes mouth guards, helmets, gloves, safety pads, and other equipment. Running shoes can also boost your performance and reduce your chances of knee and foot injury.
6. Avoid Doing Too Much Training Too Soon
Why should you train steadily?
Trying to achieve too much too soon will inevitably result in injury because your body always takes time to adjust to increased training loads or the demands of new activities. Equally, trying to match others’ performance in a gym or at a sports club is a great motivator. But you should temper this with an accurate assessment of your own ability and fitness.
How should you train?
Never stretch or sacrifice your technique to do better because the damage is likely to result. Also, exercise with someone whose fitness levels are similar to your own. This way, you will stop causing injuries by not trying to match the performance of someone whose fitness levels are different from yours.
7. Why See A Sports Therapist After Injury
Sports and exercise can cause damage to muscles, tendons, and other tissues of the body. Healthy sports trainer is worth their gold weight, and they can return the body to its pre-exercise condition by using skilled massage techniques. They are also knowledgeable goldmines and can analyze, diagnose, and treat a wide range of physical problems before injury strikes.
How do you find a sports therapist?
Connect with the recommended therapist and meet them once a month for examination and deep tissue sports massage. Avoiding is safer (and easier) than cure.
The bottom line
No-one wants to be hit by injuries or illness. And least of all, an athlete who has been trained long and hard to achieve his goals. None of the top 7 injury avoiding tips is hard to reach. But they will all help you earn long-term results. Train hard, but train carefully.