Participating in athletic activities is a great way to have fun while getting some exercise. Maybe you enjoy playing tennis on the weekends or playing basketball at the park with your friends. Or maybe you’ve played a specific sport your whole life and competed in tournaments for your age group. Regardless of the activity and the frequency, you’ve probably experienced an athletic injury at least once in your life. While it can be a lot of fun to go to the gym or get some exercise playing sports, athletic activities increase your risk of experiencing an injury. Participating in any kind of sport or exercise can cause stress on your body, but there are ways you can prevent or decrease your risk of athletic injury.
Do a warm-up before you start.
People often think that exercise should begin with stretching because it’s important for increasing your flexibility and preventing injury. But you should never stretch a cold muscle. If you’re not familiar with this terminology, a “cold muscle” refers to a muscle that is stiff due to the lack of activity. When a muscle is active, it warms up and feels looser. It’s best to do a quick five-minute or even a ten-minute warm-up before you even think about doing your stretches. You can jog in place, take a walk around the block, or do a few jumping jacks to get your muscles moving. Make sure to hold each stretch for 30 seconds.
Focus on your technique.
Regardless of the athletic activity, there are likely a few proper techniques you can learn to prevent injury. If you enjoy surfing, for example, you may want to sign up for surfing lessons so that an expert instructor can help you improve your skills. It’s a sport that requires a lot of stamina and strength. You’ll be spending a lot of time in the ocean, trying to ride waves that are several feet high. When it comes to athletics, there’s a right way and a wrong way. And the wrong way usually results in injury. So, don’t wait until it happens and learn the proper techniques for your chosen activity.
Your body relies on water to maximize circulation, regulate body temperature, and supply the proper nutrients to different parts of your body. But more importantly, your body needs water to contract muscles. When you’re taking part in strenuous exercise, you’ll start losing water due to sweat. Dehydration can deprive your body of what it needs to support muscle function. The lack of water in your body can also damage your cartilage and create tears. This is crucial because cartilage is responsible for keeping your joints in tip-top shape. When you exercise while dehydrated, you’re also more likely to experience cramps. It’s important to drink water and replenish those electrolytes to prevent injury.
Take breaks and rest.
Allowing your body to rest is one of the best ways to prevent injury. That’s why you take breaks in between sets while you’re at the gym. It’s a great way to avoid common gym injuries and ensure that you’re doing your best to prepare your body for any strenuous activity. Taking a breather helps your body recover and prevent any injury due to overuse. When you give your body a break, your muscles can replenish themselves and repair any tears in the muscle tissue. Taking days off also allows you to alleviate any delayed soreness or pain as a result of rigorous activity.
These are just some of the ways you can prevent injuries during athletic activities. It’s important to take good care of your body so that you can perform at your best. Never forget your warm-up, always drink plenty of water, learn the proper techniques, and take time to recover.