Sports have drawn many enthusiasts and participants due to the excitement of games and the many health benefits of playing sports. For example, grabbing your special athletic shoes and hitting the ground running is an excellent tonic for your heart. You can experience similar benefits by getting your body moving in almost any way.
However, the massive health benefits that come with sports can also lead to many injuries. As a sports lover, you may be aware of these facts:
- An estimated 8.6 million sports injuries occur each year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Sciences
- A third of all sports injuries occur in an athletic field or sports facility
- Sprains, strains, and fractures are the most common sports injuries
Untreated injuries can rob you of taking part in your favorite sport. Thanks to urgent care clinics that can provide you with medical care for your injuries, you can continue enjoying your indoor or outdoor exercises. Although you can pop in an urgent care center for the treatment of sprains, fractures, and more, you should be aware of how to prevent sports injuries. Check out these tips that can help you prevent sports injuries.
1. Warm Up
Warming up your muscles is key to prepare yourself for exercise. You can get ready to launch your heart, muscles, and metabolism into high gear by doing slow jogging, walking, or gentle calisthenics before you start playing.
Do your warm-up exercises for 5 to 10 minutes before your intensive activity. Once you feel hotter and break a sweat, you’re now ready for your major exercise.
2. Move Slowly
You can worsen your injuries through overuse, including exercising too much, too hard, and too soon. Don’t increase your workload by more than 10% every week and try to alternate intense activities with easy workout days.
3. Work Out Frequently
If you’re exercising now and then, you raise the risk of injury. Your muscles need some time to adapt to the pressures of an activity. It’s more harmless and effective to exercise every other day than to do an intense sport on the weekends that leaves you stiff and uncomfortable.
4. Cool Down
Your heart and respiratory rates should transition back toward resting after you’re done with an exercise. Walk around or continue with your exercise at a more leisurely pace to help your heart rest. If you stop suddenly, it can lead to a potential drop in your blood pressure, or you can faint from blood pooling in your body’s extremities.
5. Stretch for Flexibility
Stretch your muscles for flexibility. Do stretching exercises during the cool-down when muscles are warm and flexible. Your stretching will be easy and have longer-lasting effects on your flexibility. This can also help reduce muscle soreness and prevent muscle strains.
6. Try Cross-Training
Mix strength, aerobic, and flexibility workouts in your weekly sports schedule. It’ll balance your fitness routine and prevent the one-dimensional stress of only doing one kind of exercise.
Running is a great aerobic activity, but it stiffens a calf’s hamstrings and doesn’t benefit the abdominals or upper body. If you add strengthening and stretching two times a week, it keeps your muscles in better shape, minimizing injury risk and improving your running.
7. Drink Water Before, During, and After Exercise
If you become dehydrated, you’ll get tired and increase the risk of heart injury. Drink 8 ounces of water before, a half cup every 20 minutes of a workout, and 8 ounces or more after an activity. This will help keep you hydrated throughout, giving your body the strength it needs to complete the workout.
8. Change Exercises in Excessive Heat or Cold
When the weather is hot, exercise early or later in the day. You should also adjust your routine during extremely cold temperatures. Consider how you feel in these temperatures and ease back on your workout intensity and duration until your body is comfortable with the weather.
9. Watch Out for Pain
Pain is a sign that something is wrong. If you do a workout when you’ve got an injury, you’ll make the pain worse and lengthen it. Reduce your exercises, change activities, or take some days off to give yourself enough time to heal if something begins to hurt or you’re not recovering from one workout to the next.
10. Wear Proper, Well-Fitted Shoes
Properly fitted shoes are essential as they protect you from contact injuries. Pick those fitting for the sport or exercise and replace them every 400 to 500 miles or before the soles become compressed.
A walk-in clinic or urgent care center takes care of your sports injuries to help you continue having fun in your workouts. But it’s also crucial to know how to prevent the potential damages in sports. Warming up, progressing slowly, and exercising often are effective tips that can minimize sports injuries. If you do have sports injuries or you want to learn more about how to prevent them, visit Carestation Medical Group.