Four Ways to Prevent Sports Injuries

While the physically active lifestyle is generally healthier than the sedentary, people who engage in rigorous sports are more prone to injury. Preventing sports injuries will help to keep you in the game longer and avoid chronic pain later in life. The following four tips will help you avoid injury:

1. Activity doesn’t end with the game or the practice.

This tip is mainly directed toward the “weekend warrior” crowd, the members of which spend their weekdays sitting behind a desk and then attempt Herculean physical feats on the weekends. If you play football every weekend, for example, but do no exercise to condition your muscles throughout the week, at best you will simply gain aches and pains on Monday. At worst, you’ll obtain a nagging injury. Your body requires frequent physical activity to keep muscles strong and flexible. Don’t expect them to be ready for the game on Saturday if you’ve been sitting since Monday.

2. Warm up every time.

No matter how strong your muscles are or how used to your sport they have become, warming up before rigorous activity is necessary to avoid injury. Light stretches and exercises prep the muscles for activity by inundating them with fresh blood. This supplies both oxygen to be converted into energy and warmth that helps make muscles flexible. These deliveries protect muscles, ligaments and tendons from strains and tears.

3. Research your specific sport for common injuries and preventative measures.

Every sport stresses specific areas of the body and renders its participants susceptible to specific injuries. Running, for example, places significant stress on joints and legs; IT band syndrome, Achilles tendonitis and shin splints are all common injuries among runners. A generic stretching and warm-up routine may not be sufficient to equip you for the unique demands of your sport. A healthy knowledge of potential problem areas and preemptive solutions will be one of your best preventative tools. A database of articles about common sports injuries by sport can be found at

4. Don’t be a martyr.

You don’t just play competitive sports to be fit; you play to win. Unfortunately, many athletes push themselves beyond healthy limits by playing while injured. If you have serious arm, leg or back pain, it is the sign of possible injury. Any strenuous activity could worsen your pain and lead to the development of a serious condition. Many sports injuries last a lifetime; remember that pushing yourself through one more game in pain could mean taking yourself out of the game for years to come.

Basic knowledge of your sport and the human body may be enough to prevent a sports injury. Make sure you are physically prepared for the activities you engage in and make your health a priority.

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