5 Tips for Preventing Sports Injuries
One of the healthiest lifestyle choices you can make is to move your body and ensure you get sufficient exercise. The health benefits are countless, and one of the only drawbacks is the risk of injury. Fortunately, there are certain simple precautions you can take to minimize the risk of suffering a sports injury.
Avoid injuring yourself during sports
Engaging in sports and other exercise can improve your mood, boost your concentration, enhance sleep, help you maintain a healthy weight, and even reduce depression and stress levels. However, strenuous exercise can also take its toll on your muscles, joints, and ligaments, leading to injuries. Keep reading to learn how you can avoid being injured.
Warm up and cool down
Warming up before physical activity protects your muscles and improves flexibility. This makes it less likely for your muscles to rip or tear during your workout. Cooling down afterwards allows your body to slowly return to a state of rest, gradually reducing your heart rate and blood pressure. By helping your muscles shed lactic acid, cooling down after a workout can help reduce soreness and stiffness.
Respect your body’s limits
Pushing your body too hard too fast is never a good idea. If you feel pain during sports, listen to your body. Continuing through the pain is likely to worsen any injury. It’s important to learn the difference between the feeling of challenging your muscles and actual pain or other symptoms that could be signaling the risk of an injury.
Drinking enough water while exercising is important. When you get even slightly dehydrated, the risk of heat cramps increases. Dehydration may make your muscles tense, affecting your form and technique. This raises the likelihood of muscle tears and strains. Drinking water (or sport drinks or coconut water) before, during and after exercising is an important step towards avoiding injuries.
Learn the correct techniques and proper form
Regardless of which sports you participate in, learning techniques and proper form is crucial. Performing exercises incorrectly may prevent you from getting the full benefit of the exercises as well as potentially leading to pain and injury. Taking the necessary time to learn how to perform exercises correctly will be well worth it, both in terms of efficiency and helping you steer clear of injuries.
Get sufficient rest
Exercise causes microscopic tears in your muscles. When you rest, your body gets a chance to repair and rebuild. Your body will also remove excess lactate from your muscles, helping to alleviate soreness. In addition to getting sufficient sleep at night, you should plan to take regular rest days during which you take a break from your regular sports. Rest days give your body adequate time to recharge and rebuild and go a long way in preventing sports injuries.
If you have any questions about preventing sports injuries, feel free to contact Progressive Spine and Orthopaedics. We specialize in sports medicine, including preventing and treating sports injuries, and we would be happy to advise you or treat any current sports injuries with minimally invasive techniques.