We live in a time when we cannot afford to neglect our bodies. While we may have the means and resources to get proper care when we get sick or injured, the last thing we want to do is to add to the burdens of doctors and nurses who already have so much on their plate—especially if it’s within our control.
One area of health that we do have control over is avoiding sports injuries. Yes, we may never fully predict what can happen on the field or in the ring, but there are certain things within our power that we can do to make sure that our body is conditioned to do certain physical tasks and to receive certain hits. Here are some safety pointers to consider when engaging in sports.
1. Keep your body is in good shape.
Make sure your body is fully conditioned and equipped to engage in a specific sport, especially if it’s high-contact and strenuous. The following are steps you can take to condition your body:
- Develop a fitness routine that involves strength training, flexibility, and cardiovascular exercise.
- Pay attention to all your muscle groups by alternating your focus on them every other exercise day.
- Don’t neglect your cooling-down time after exercising or playing. Make sure it’s twice as long as your warm-up.
2. Invest in the proper equipment.
If you plan to engage in a particular sport for a very long time, don’t hesitate to invest in the proper tools and equipment. Cheaper alternatives may cost you less, but if they’re not of the highest quality, they may not be able to protect you from injury or pain while you’re playing or competing. Use the recommended safety equipment for the specific sport you’re looking into, and that includes devices like helmets, pads, face guards, teeth mouthpiece, protective cups, and protective eyewear
3. Do proper warm-ups and stretching before and after a game or a match.
The importance of stretching cannot be overstated. Even people who aren’t into sports can benefit greatly from stretching because it helps our bodies age better. A low-intensity stretch can be good before you exercise or play, but you need to amp up the stretching after your workout routine or after an intense game or match.
4. Keep yourself hydrated.
One of the most crucial parts of preventing injury during sports is drinking enough water. Especially if the sport involves being out in the sun all day, proper hydration is crucial to preventing heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Make sure to consume 500 to 600 milliliters of water 2 to 3 hours before you start playing or competing, 250 milliliters 20 to 30 minutes before you start warming-up for the scheduled game or match, 100 milliliters every time you get a break from the game, and another 250 milliliters no more than 30 minutes after the game or match has ended.
5. Take breaks.
If you’re playing a competitive sport in official tournaments, then you most likely have already trained and conditioned your body to be prepared for continuous and strenuous movement. Even then, make sure to allow yourself some time to breathe in between rounds, sets, or quarters. If you’re only playing for leisure and exercise, then don’t push yourself to the limit. Even professional athletes make sure to have proper rest days. Pushing your body to its limits may make it more vulnerable to injury in the long run. Take a rest when you’re tired and don’t exercise when your body is already in pain. Give your body enough time to heal itself before you put yourself out there again.
6. Play fair and safe, and know your body’s limits.
Listen to the game or sport’s safety rules and abide by them. Regulations and rules in sports exist to protect the players and athletes from unnecessary injury. Listen to your coaches, trainers, and even your doctor, and trust in their expert advice and recommendations. Winning and excelling are great, but they’re not enough reason to abuse your body.
7. Educate yourself on the common injuries one can sustain in your sport.
So many people get injured while playing or competing because they haven’t done the proper research on that specific sport, and they didn’t know what to avoid or what safety precautions to take. Protect yourself from injury by arming yourself with all the necessary information about the sport or game you want to get into.
Take Care of Your Body
Getting into sports is a good way to stay fit both physically and emotionally, but you need to do it right to stay healthy while doing so. So arm yourself with the right knowledge, equipment, and preparation, and be careful out there in the field.