Playing sports requires plenty of effort and determination. If you’re an athlete, you probably started practising sports when you were a child and didn’t stop when you reached adulthood.
Sports help you keep your body fit and make you feel good about yourself. However, all sports have a risk of injury, and it’s essential to follow some injury prevention tips to ensure you enjoy an optimal sports experience. In general, the more contact the sport implies, the greater the risk of experiencing a traumatic injury. However, often injuries in professional athletes are due to overuse.
The most common sports injuries are:
- Stress fracture
Sports injuries result from excessive stress placed on muscles, bones, tendons, and joints.
Here are some recommendations that can help you prevent injuries, whether you’re new to the sport or an experienced athlete.
Did you know that over 30% of sports injuries that require medical assistance are injuries to the skeletal muscles? You shouldn’t skip warm up because it can enhance your muscle dynamics and reduce the chance of injury. It also prepares your body for the stress exercising puts on it. Depending on the type of sport you practice, it can even help you move faster. Therefore, you should have at least 15 minutes of warm up at the beginning of your training session to prevent injuries and maximise the effects.
The ideal warm up includes dynamic and static stretches to target different body parts and prepare your body for performing strenuous exercises. Dynamic stretches are exercises completed while moving. Static stretches require keeping your body in a particular position for an extended period.
Improved flexibility is essential for injury prevention, and warming up is key for flexibility. Therefore, make sure you stretch before any physical activity to warm up your muscles.
Pay attention to your diet and water intake
Studies show that a healthy and nutritious diet and an adequate intake of fluids can increase athletes’ performance. When you perform physical activities, your body needs electrolytes, proteins, and carbohydrates to support your movements. However, you need to pay attention to your diet and fluid intake pre and post workout because they impact your weight management, replenish your body with the necessary energy, and provide it with an adequate amount of protein to heal and recover.
Nutrition is a big deal when practising any kind of sport, so make sure you have a proper diet because your body requires plenty of energy when training.
Hydration is also crucial because water transports nutrients throughout your body and regulates body temperature. You need to properly hydrate yourself to perform at your highest level. If you neglect to provide your body with the necessary amount of water, you can experience dizziness, muscle cramps, and fatigue. You need more water because you’re an athlete and more active than the average individual.
Wear the right gear
You want to make sure that the equipment you use during training and competitions fits appropriately. It’s essential to wear properly fitting protective gear that includes pads for your shin, knees, chest, shoulders, neck, and elbows, mouthpieces, helmets, eyewear, protective cups, and face guards. The type of sport you practice dictates the kind of equipment you must wear. Even if you may find it daunting to wear your complete gear during practice, don’t neglect to get all the pieces because you can injure yourself.
Wearing proper equipment doesn’t guarantee you that you’re safe from injuries, but it lowers the chances of getting hurt.
Besides wearing the proper gear, you should always be aware of the environment and field conditions. The environment means more than the weather, even if it impacts the quality of your play and practice and how safely you can move. Have a look at the field and check it for holes and wet spots so you can adapt your movements when close to them and prevent a fall and injury.
You are prone to injuries both on and outside the field. Besides training and performing on the field, you may also engage in physical activities during your free time. If you like to ride a bicycle with your family during the weekend, you expose yourself to the risk of injuring yourself. Suppose you’re passionate about cycling; make sure you ride the bike on a surface that poses no risk to your health. However, you can experience a bicycle accident from someone else’s fault. If this is the case, claim compensation for your injuries and lost income.
You’re also prone to injuries during training and practice because you put a high demand on your body. When training hard, you can have strains, sprains, back pain, swelling, neck pain, and other health issues that restrict your movements. It’s crucial to recognise and treat any kind of injury to avoid serious long-term damage. Research shows that chiropractic therapy can help you improve your physical ailments.
As stated before, athletes are prone to overuse injuries, and they’re the most common type of health issues encountered in sports medicine. As a pro athlete, you may often overtrain and don’t rest enough to allow your body to recover. Overtraining has several side effects like fatigue, a decrease in muscle energy stores, muscle damage, lower sports performance, and suppression of your immune system. Make sure you rest properly, especially if you suffered an injury. Rest periods during games and training can lower the possibility of injuries and prevent illness.
If you injured yourself, on or outside the field, manage the recovery period properly to prevent long-term damage. Don’t go back to playing sports until your injuries are completely healed. Talk with your doctor to identify the cause of the injury and determine the best way to prevent a similar one.
After a break, your muscles may be deconditioned, and you need to ease your body back to strengthening exercises.
As you see, what you do impacts your sports performance. Make sure you provide your body with the proper amount of nutrients and guard it against injuries.