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Avoiding Injury: Simple Steps to Staying Safe in Sports

Posted on June 28, 2018 by Dixie Somers

Avoiding Injury - Simple Steps to Staying Safe in SportsWhenever you play a sport or exercise your body, you are increasing your risk for injury no matter how careful you are. However, by following safe steps, knowing your body’s limitations and protecting against the most common types of injuries, you can stay safe and stay in the game. Here are four simple ways that you can avoid stressing any part of your body or landing in the emergency room rather than being on the field.

Always Warm Up and Cool Down

Warm ups and cool downs often seem pointless to new exercisers or players. Most people want to immediately get to the good part, which is the game or exercise itself. However, warm ups and cool downs, which should last for the first five and last five minutes of every game respectively, are vital for protecting muscles and connective tissues from strain and injury. A good warm up will bring blood into the muscles that you plan to use while a cool down should return your heart rate and breathing to normal.

Wear Protective Gear

Protective gear is designed to guard the most danger-prone areas of your body from injury. For example, a helmet is used to protect your head from concussions and other brain injuries. Knee and elbow pads protect your joints that tend to stick out the most from your body. Other good forms of protective gear depending on the sport include mouthguards, shin guards, shoulder pads and eyewear.

Take Time to Rest

You cannot play your favorite sport every day and expect to stay healthy. This will be too much of a strain on your muscles, ligaments and tendons that need time off between exercising to repair themselves and become stronger. Plan to take at least one day off per week and work out different muscle groups every other day.

Participate in More than One Activity

If you play mainly one sport only, you will want to ensure that you use other muscle groups in a variety of ways to keep your whole body in shape. A fully healthy body is less prone to injury. Consider adding a strength-based routine, which will keep your muscles healthy and flexible during sports. Yoga and Pilates are often good options.

Different tips may also apply based on the player’s age. Children should always be watched carefully because their bodies are still growing, and they can be particularly sensitive to head injuries. Older players may have more issues with flexibility and balance. Whatever age you are, you can find a way to play your favorite sport or take part in your favorite form of exercise safely, healthfully and with much joy.

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