4 ways to help prevent sports injuries
Sports injuries are like car accidents: They occur when you least expect them to. Nobody walks out onto the field with the intention of getting hurt or causing harm to another person. Due to the unpredictable nature of sports, it is impossible to prevent all sports related injuries. However, there are certain actions you can undertake to lessen your chances of getting hurt while playing sports.
#1. Failure to Warm Up
Several doctors have stated that the most common cause of sports injuries is the failure of the athlete to warm up prior to engaging in strenuous physical activity. The human body is not meant to deal with the extreme stresses on the limbs, joints and muscles that sports can cause. In order to prepare your body, you will need to stretch for at least 10 minutes before the game or practice.
In this way you are preparing your muscles for strenuous activity and it allows for increased blood flow to the muscles thereby increasing flexibility of the muscle fibers as well as reducing the risk of straining or pulling a muscle.
You should warm up from a very slow pace and then build up physical activity to a more energetic pace. After your warm up has taken place, you should perform some gentle stretches. This serves to lengthen the muscles and tendons and generally helps to prevent injuries.
#2. Failure to Wear Proper Protective Gear
File these types of injuries under: “could have easily been prevented”. As you play sports, your body is inevitably going to come into contact with other players, or the ground. Protective gear such as shin pads, head gear, gloves and even cups were designed to help prevent the most common types of sports injuries out there.
Many people who get injured tend to ignore protective gear suggestions, especially when they’re playing an unofficial pick-up game. Injuries can even occur when you’re practicing sports. Wearing the right protective gear is really a no-brainer.
If you can’t afford proper protective gear, there is a good chance that a local community sports department or school can loan you some gear until you can afford to buy your own.
#3. Playing When You’re Injured
Due to the sometimes machismo nature of certain sports, some people feel pressured into playing when they have an injury. If not peer pressure, then internal dialogues inside the mind of the injured person can cause them to step out onto the field when they should be sitting on the benches, resting and healing up.
Something as small as a sprained ankle can be made 10x worse by engaging in strenuous physical activity. To make matters worse, due to the amount of adrenaline that’s flowing through the human body while playing sports, the injured person may not realize they are compounding their injuries until well after the game. By this time, it is too late and the damage has already been done.
#4. Make Sure You Are Mentally and Physically in the Game
Everyone has their off days. Sometimes you don’t feel like playing sports or perhaps your thoughts are consumed by something else that is happening in your personal life. Playing sports when you’re not mentally and physically in the game is akin to getting in a car when you’re in an angry and enraged mood.
You’re basically putting your body at risk when your mind is distracted from performing the task at hand. Try your hardest to focus on the task at hand. In this case, keeping safe while playing the sports game. If you find that you are just not mentally or physically able to play the game, the best thing to do is not play.