Whether you play sports for fun or competition, injuries are not a welcome occurrence. They are painful and uncomfortable. They will cost you time off the pitch or track. In some cases, injuries will cost you money. Most injuries happen during training and are avoidable. Therefore, athletes should learn to care for their bodies to avoid injuries.
Many people jump straight into a workout without warming up and leave without cooling down. Warming up stretches your muscles and prepares them for the exercise you are about to put them through. It gets them out of their resting state and transitions them to high speeds while cooling down relaxes your muscles from intense action. It gradually returns them to the resting state.
It does not matter how fit you may think you are; your muscles will be tight before training. A proper warm-up will prevent you from accidentally twisting or overextending your joints. You can do simple stretches, walk, or use resistance bands to warm up and do the same to cool down. Remember, it takes twice as long to cool down as to warm up.
The right gear will protect you from injury. Protective clothing is not for the weak but the wise. People who know that will help them get the best out of training. Whatever activity you are engaging in, ensure you dress for your sport.
Protect any part of your body that has an injury with a brace or other appropriate protection. Braces provide compression and support for your muscles. They also reduce pain during training.
Eating regular meals and a well-balanced diet prevents energy lows. It is a vital part of injury-free sports performance. Lean protein, fruits, and vegetables are essential for the growth and repair of cells. Also, hydrate on and off the field to avoid dehydration and other injuries.
Athletes of all ages need adequate rest and sleep. Otherwise, it can cause them to make poor decisions that can cause injury. It can also cause muscle fatigue that makes them susceptible to injuries. The body repairs itself when it rests. Get good sleep and take breaks when your body feels tired.
Learn how to listen to your body. You may want to work hard enough to return to the field but also have injuries. Learn to give them time to heal. Otherwise, injuries may worsen, and you may have to stay on the sidelines longer. Also, do not add additional stress to yourself if you have flu or cold. Learn to let yourself heal.
You must know the proper way to play a sport. Know the rules and regulations that govern it. Like in football, you need to know the appropriate way to tackle. Otherwise, you may hurt yourself and other players.
It is always good to regularly see your doctor for a fitness test before starting any new activity. Some exercises or training schedules can put undue stress on your body. The doctor can do a test to determine your limitations.
For more on how athletes can prevent injury, call Action Potential - Sports and Neurological Rehab at(512) 991-0038 for our Austin, Texas office.