Whether playing as a hobby or professionally, choosing to play a sport has many benefits. To mention a few, it can be a lot of fun, you’re able to remain physically active, and it may also be a way to get rid of stress. As you probably know, however, when you play sports you stand the risk of getting injured. As well as being physically painful, injuries can set you back, and the recovery process can be long and tedious. You should know that there are things you can do to help prevent injury while playing sports. Some of them include practicing positive habits and being a little more careful before, during and after playing. This article will explore five ways in particular that you can build a resilient body and reduce the risk of injury if you happen to play sports often.
Warm up Before Playing
Before beginning any intense physical activity, you should consider warming up first. If you’re wondering why you need to do this, it’s because warming before playing a sport or exercising can enhance your performance and prevent illness. Studies show that acute muscle tears are more likely to occur when the muscles are cold and haven’t been warmed up. Warming up before engaging in intense physical activity can also have positive effects on the heart. It is, therefore, recommended that you take at least 10-20 minutes to warm up before you start your activity. Some suggestions for the type of warm ups that you can do include marching on the spot for three minutes, 60 heel digs in 60 seconds, 30 knee lifts in 30 seconds, two sets of shoulder rolls, knee bends, as well as cardio exercises. By doing these things before you work out, you should find your body is more prepared for the activity ahead and your likeliness of injury may also reduce.
Avoid Playing When Ill
One of the things you should avoid if you want to reduce the risk of injuries is playing sports when you aren’t feeling too well. In as much as staying active and getting regular exercise is important, overdoing it could have damaging effects on your body. On days like this, you may find that you aren’t functioning well and perhaps your coordination is off key. This could result in you losing balance or losing focus and as a result, injuring yourself. For this reason, you should consider taking time off and getting adequate rest when you feel physically, mentally, or emotionally off. It is okay to take a day or two off, especially if it means that you’ll prevent an injury from occurring.
Eat the Right Foods
The healthier that your diet is, the more likely you are to build a stronger body. In as much as exercise is important, what you eat is equally important as well. For this reason, if you want to reduce the risk of injury, then you should assess your diet and ensure that you’re taking in the right foods. Some things that you can consider eating on a daily basis include healthy carbs, fiber-rich foods, vegetables and fruit that are rich in vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine, creatine, and zinc-rich foods just to mention a few. Additionally, protein powder is an effective way of sustaining lean muscles which could in turn help reduce the risk of muscle injury. You should, however, ensure you do your research by looking at platforms such as WhatProtein which can give you information on protein powders as well as what to look out for before buying certain brands. Some tips include avoiding ones that contain excess amounts of artificial sweeteners, sucrose, glucose, brown sugar, gum or soy as such ingredients can mess with your metabolism and can also be highly acidic.
Follow the Rules
Not everyone is good at following the rules and many people like to create their own. However, this isn’t always the best idea when you happen to be playing sports. Rules are usually put in place for a reason and majority of the time, it’s to prevent injury or harm from coming to those participating. This means that not following the rules of the game could result in you getting mildly or dramatically hurt. In addition to following the rules, you should also learn to wear the gear given to you. This could mean wearing a helmet, shoulder and knee pads, or gloves to ensure you’re protected from sudden falls or harmful physical impact.
Know Your Limit
It is important that if you want to prevent sport-related injuries that you learn to listen to your body. This means knowing when you’re become extremely exhausted, when your body begins to feel stressed, as well as when you’re feeling unusual pain or strains. Ignoring such things could mean you’re pushing yourself beyond your limit and that your body ends up getting injured. Additionally, you should try and take regular breaks and give your body time to rest when working out or playing sports. It is said that mild and short-lived muscle aches can be a sign of good pain. However, on the other hand, pain that occurs in your joints isn’t normal and could be a sign that you should reduce the strain you’re putting on your body. If you happen to be learning a new sport, you should try not to push yourself too hard and give your bones, joints, and muscles time to gradually adjust.
Being precautious doesn’t guarantee that you won’t injure yourself while playing a sport, however, it can at least reduce the chances. As mentioned above, you should learn not to push yourself beyond your limit, stick to a balanced diet, as well as be cautious when engaging in intense activities. You only get one body so ensuring you take care of it is key. Not every injury is easy to recover one, and some could result in you being unable to play the sports you love again. As they say, ‘prevention is better than cure’, so you should try your best to avoid injuries at all costs.