There’s never a better time than now to engage in sports. Being good at even one sport can help revitalize our health, improve our strategic thinking, and enhance our sportsmanship, along with the other benefits of regular exercise. However, we need to ensure that we’re doing it right and taking every safety measure possible to avoid straining our bodies too much. Here are some major causes of various kinds of sports-related injuries:
- Poor or improper practices during training
- Wearing poor-quality sports gear or equipment
- Straining too hard when the body has not exercised for a long time
- Incorrect stretching, warm-up, or breathing practices before or during a sporting event
Some of the most common sports-related injuries include:
- Strains and sprains
- Pain along the shin-bone
- Injuries to the joints (knee, ankle, or shoulder)
- Achilles tendon injuries
- Muscle injuries
Engaging in sports is all well and good, but only when we take safety precautions to avoid injuries. Here are some tips for protecting your health and body while engaging in sports and other related physical activities.
Establish a fitness plan and stick with it
We can’t ensure absolute safety whenever we play sports. Still, one of the best things you can do for your body and ensure that you at least reduce your risk for injuries is by establishing a fitness plan that involves strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and flexibility. Incorporating these specific fitness plans into your routine will help prepare your body and shape it to where it’s in an optimal position to play whatever sport you want.
Stretch and warm up properly
Another aspect of your fitness that you cannot afford to ignore if you want to avoid sports-related injuries is property stretching. Here are some tips for ensuring that your body is warmed up enough before you hit the field or the court:
- Start slowly—don’t do too much too soon. Take your time when warming up. The rule of thumb is that stretching shouldn’t hurt. Aim to hold every stretch for only up to twenty seconds.
- For every muscle group, repeat your stretches two to three times.
- Do a five to ten-minute and lighter version of your workout routine and specific sport. For example, if you’re warming up for a basketball game, go for a jog or a brisk walk, and do some relaxed shooting.
Invest in the proper equipment
Some of the most common sports injuries involve athletes not wearing their gear or uniform properly, not investing in the right ones, or not wearing them at all. There’s a reason why these uniforms and equipment are required by the sports-governing bodies: They rely on research-backed data to determine which pieces of gear are necessary to protect athletes and help them avoid injuries as much as possible. For example, contact sports can damage our bodies if we don’t wear the right padding and protection. Wear that football mouth guard before getting on the field if you want to protect your teeth!
Develop healthy eating habits
Creating a healthy diet is all about going back to your basic food groups. Here are the foods you need to incorporate into your daily meals as an athlete:
- Vegetables and fruits for proper hydration, energy, digestion, and pain and injury prevention. They should comprise 50 percent of every meal.
- Grains, so you can have your take of enough fiber content. It should be equivalent to one to two fists for every meal, especially if you’re doing some physical activity after your meal.
- Proteins, which are needed so that your body can get the supply of essential amino acids it needs. Proteins will help your body’s muscle maintenance, cell structure, and chemical reactions. Plant-based proteins and lean proteins like fish and poultry should be at the top of your list when doing grocery shopping, and they should take up about a quarter of your plate.
Good nutrition is essential to preventing injury and pain when you’re engaged in your sport, so make sure to develop a healthy eating plan and diet that can help accommodate the demands of your chosen physical activity. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, as well.
Consult with your coach and doctor
And lastly, don’t forget to consult with your coach and doctor. Your coach can help you do the sport well and properly, and they can teach you the proper techniques so that you can protect your body in smart and strategic ways, while your doctor can give you advice on how to stay healthy as you play. Good luck, and stay safe out there!