Being an athlete has many great benefits for your health. It teaches discipline, perseverance, and teamwork. But, it’s important to be careful when you’re playing sports because of the potential risk of injury.
When we get injured, it impacts other areas of our life. According to Carew Garcia Bohuslav Law, a sports injury could be minor, or it could be devastating, like a spinal injury.
Sports injuries can often be avoided with the right training and knowledge. Here are steps you can take to lower your risk of getting injured.
Make Sure to Warm Up First
It’s very important to warm up before you play sports. Warm-up exercises increase your coordination and loosen up the muscles and joints. Stretching before exercise is recommended to prevent injuries. Jogging is also helpful for a warmup, because cardio increases your heart rate and blood flow, helping your muscles prepare for longer endurance activities.
Also, make sure that when you’re doing your warm-up, you begin at a slow pace. Gradually increase the intensity of the exercise. Starting out too fast doesn’t give your muscles adequate time to relax, and you can become injured that way.
Be Mindful of Your Technique
Perhaps the most important factor in injury prevention is proper technique. If your form is off for an extended period of time, this can be one of the surest ways to develop an injury. Lifting weights with improper form can put you at risk of injuring your knees, ankles, or back, for example. Make sure to seek guidance from a mentor or coach when you feel unsure about your form. They can give you tips and exercises to help fix it and point out the errors you don’t see yourself. You can also go online and search for tutorials on proper form.
Use the Proper Equipment
Many sports require protective equipment. This not only increases your performance but helps to prevent the risk of injury. Make sure to always wear the recommended gear, and wear proper footwear that offers support.
Listen to Your Body
Pay attention to any aches and pains you feel. Your body has a way of responding and sending signals when something isn’t right, so don’t ignore them. Instead, pause what you’re doing, and don’t simply try to fight through the pain. If you do, you might make it worse.
Sports push us to train hard, so we can compete at a higher level, but overtraining is notorious for causing injuries. Overtraining can mean exercising too often or for too long in one sitting.
Acute vs. Chronic Injuries
There are two types of sports injuries: acute and chronic. An acute injury is one that comes from a direct force, and one you will feel right away. An acute injury might be caused by a slip or fall, a tackle, or a collision.
Chronic injuries, on the other hand, gradually develop over time due to repetitive motion and strains. Chronic injuries can lead to acute injuries because of the damage already done to your muscles.
By following this guide, and understanding the causes of sports injuries, you can help prevent one from affecting your livelihood.