Simple Ways to Prevent Sports Injury
Sports injuries are common among professional and amateur athletes alike. With just a few adjustments to workout routines, many of these injuries can be prevented. Keep your body in top shape by incorporating these simple things into your exercise.
Stretching before exercise is one of the easiest ways to prevent injury. Stretching keeps the muscles nice and flexible, so when you need to move and extend them during your workout, they'll be ready. Regular stretching will lengthen and strengthen your muscles and ligament, allowing for more flexibility in your movements.
Stretching is also important after your exercise, as muscles often tighten up after use. Stretching them out will reduce the likelihood of pain and cramping after exercise.
No matter what fitness program you are on, it's important to take time off occasionally and rest your body. By taking a break from your workout, you allow your body to both recover from the exercise and also continue to metabolize food and operate at peak condition.
Rest is especially important if you are recovering from an injury. If you return to your workout routine before your injury is healed, you are likely to exacerbate the problem, possibly resulting in permanent injury. If you have been injured, talk to your doctor (and follow the doctor's advice) about how you can ease back into a safe exercise routine.
Many sports injuries are the result of poor equipment. It is important to always wear appropriate helmets, pads, footwear and mouthguards when playing sports. Always wear the gear recommended for the particular sport you are involved in, and always wear it correctly.
Protective gear works by helping the body absorb impact. This can prevent an impact from becoming a major injury. In many cases protective gear can prevent life-threatening or permanent injuries. In regards to protective gear it pays to be overly cautious: better to wear a helmet you don't need than need a helmet you aren't wearing.
Foot orthotics have been found to be an effective form of injury prevention among athletes. Many injuries are caused by bio-mechanical deformities in the feet and legs. Orthotics treat these causes by guiding the feet and legs to step in a more correct and natural way. By running a more natural stride, you use your muscles and tendons the way they were intended to be used: reducing the likelihood of overusing any one part.
Image credit (c) Foot Science International