Easy Ways to Avoid Sports Injuries
By Sara Butler
Sports injuries are very common all over the United States. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 8.6 million injuries result from sports activities each year. These injuries can be very frustrating and really cramp your style when you’re used to being active or you’re actively training for an event. To help you avoid injuries, pay close attention to these sports injury prevention tips.
Use the Right Gear
Whatever your sport, you need the right gear. If you’re a runner, then make sure your running shoes are still providing enough support and cushion so you can avoid shin splints and other injuries, such as stress fractures.
Always stay on top of the latest and greatest gear for your chosen activity and make sure to check your gear regularly and upgrade as needed. Any piece of equipment that's broken, cracked, worn down, or ill-fitting needs to go in order to help you stay healthy.
More people skip the pre-workout warmup than you think. It’s easy to get in a hurry and jump right in, but that five or 10 minutes you spend can make a really big difference in your health and injury-free status.
Get your blood pumping and your muscles warm to help them easily expand and contract. If you jump right in with tight, cold muscles, then you’re at risk for a strain or sprain. And don’t forget that your heart is also a muscle that needs warming up! Spending just a couple of minutes slowly raising your heart rate can make a big difference in your overall health and may even save your life, especially if you’re working out on a hot and humid day.
If you’re going to warm up, you can’t forget to cool down too. After every workout, no matter the intensity, you should spend time slowly ramping down the power to cool your muscles down. Recovery is critical to continued health and avoiding injury, so gently stretch and walk to cool your body down for about 10 minutes after you’re done.
The importance of proper hydration when you exercise cannot be overstated! When you sweat, you lose water. Losing too much water can have a big impact on your health, including important bodily functions like regulating your body temperature and circulation.