Engaging in active sports can be exciting, fun, thrilling and adrenaline-generating for numerous athletes. In addition, participating actively in sports like football, volleyball, basketball, swimming, or rugby has a myriad of health benefits. Participating in active sports can result in strong bones, muscles, and tendons, strengthened immune systems, improved blood flow, reduced stress, better sleep patterns and generally better health. Nonetheless, active sportspeople are vulnerable to numerous sports injuries including; shoulder, groin, hip flexor strains, hamstring injuries, concussions, knee injuries and ligament injuries.
How athletes can prevent injuries:
- Embrace the Warm- up
Athletes looking to protect themselves against career-ending sports injuries should never neglect warming up. Light pre-workouts and stretching are reputable sports-injuries prevention techniques. Warm-ups trigger the loosening of your muscles & tendons in preparation for more active engagement in respective sports. All athletes should engage in warm-up activities such as stretching, press-ups, sit-ups, toe-touching, jumping and short sprints prior to participating actively in all sporting activities including soccer, cycling, swimming and marathon, among others, to prevent sports injuries.
- Take time off
Resting in between games, practices or events is highly recommended for all athletes. Many sports injuries occur due to muscle fatigue, inadequate sleep, overworking or lack of enough rest. It is imperative to enjoy at least 12-24 hours rest after participating in any high-intensity sports activity to avoid catastrophic sports injuries. Resting allows the body muscles/tendons and mind to recuperate before the next sports event. Taking adequate rest will also result in high energy levels, proper muscle repair, improved sleep patterns, better concentration and productivity.
- Never neglect to wear the right gear
Sports injuries are responsible for the destruction of numerous promising sports-careers. In some cases, athletes can even succumb to death after suffering serious sports injuries such as concussions. Wearing the right protective gear such as face guards, shoulder/knee/chest/chin/neck/elbow pads, protective cups, mouthpieces, eyewear, and helmets is highly recommended for those engaging in high impact sports activities such as boxing, cycling, wrestling, martial arts and football among others. The easiest way athletes can prevent career-threatening sports injuries is through the wearing of the right protective gear at all times – even in training.
- Engage in power -Strengthening exercises
Athletes should consider engaging in muscle strengthening exercises such as weight lifting, press-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups and stretching on a regular basis. Participating in such activities before or after events, practice or games helps in strengthening the muscles, bones and increasing flexibility while reducing risks of sports injuries.
- Implement a well-balanced diet
Eating healthy foods is very important for athletes. Engaging in sports requires power, strength, and high energy levels. Incorporating a well-balanced diet consisting of plenty of vegetables and fruits in your lifestyle can have positive impacts on your career as a sportsperson. Consider developing a habit of consuming a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day to lower risks of incurring sports injuries. Remember, a well- balanced diet should be rich in all healthy proteins, vital minerals and vitamins.
- Use the proper equipment and techniques
All sports have varying equipment and techniques. It is imperative to ensure that you use the right equipment when engaging in your respective sport as an athlete. Ensure that your protective equipment such as helmets, shoes, pads, mouth guards and gloves are fitting properly and well-maintained before your activity. Apply the proper techniques of your given sport to boost your sports injury prevention effort.
In event of a sports injury, don’t hesitate to consult your Sports medicine doctor for medical assistance.
For more information about Lubbock Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Kevin Crawford, click below.