High-intensity participation in sport may increase the risk of certain injuries including muscle injuries, dislocations, sprains, fractures and joint injuries. Whether you are a professional athlete or a casual sports player, injuries should be on top of your list of things to avoid at all costs. Injuries can put you in a world of pain and force you to miss out on the sporting action for a long time. Regardless of the type of sport you play, there’s always a risk of injuries, either from contact or from misuse or overuse of a body part. As such, you need to take measures to prevent injuries before, during and after your sporting activities to ensure that you stay healthy, fit, and ready for the next game.
Warm-up and cool down properly
Failing to warm up your muscles and joints properly before engaging in a physically demanding sport is almost guaranteed to result in injury. You need to have a 10-15 minute long warm-up session before every game to boost blood flow to your muscles and prepare them for the activity to follow. Your warm-up session can be a combination of light cardio exercises like jogging to get your heart rate going and stretching exercises to improve the flexibility and range of motion of different joints and muscles, which considerably reduces the risk of injury.
After you’re done playing, you also need a cool-down period of about 5-10 minutes to catch your breath and allow your heart rate to return to normal. This will give your body enough time to flush out lactic acid and supply your tired muscles with oxygen and nutrients, which prevents muscle stiffness.
Get a massage
Whether you are a professional athlete or just playing for fun, there’s a lot to gain from a massage as part of your training regimen. First of all, a massage increases blood flow to the muscles which provides them with oxygen and nutrients to maintain their health and prevent injuries. A massage also helps to prevent injuries by breaking down adhesions that increase muscle stiffness. This decreases tightness and increases range of movement, which prevents injuries. If going to a massage therapist after every game or training session is not an option, you can use a foam roller instead.
Use the right equipment and techniques
Depending on the type of sport, there are some types of protective equipment you need in order to reduce the risk of injuries. Hockey and soccer players need shin pads, and basketball and netball players need proper shoes to prevent slips or twisting injuries. You also need to learn the correct techniques associated with the sport you’re playing to prevent overuse injuries.
Suffering an injury from sports is not only painful, but it can also require you to take some time off from your sport. Regardless of the type of sport and level at which you play, you need to take measures to prevent injuries so that you can always have a safe, optimal sports experience.
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