Preventing Sports Injuries

Sports injuries, while common, should never be taken lightly. Usually, a minor injury can be resolved with ample rest and other techniques like icing, elevation and compression. However, if not handled properly, even a simple ankle sprain can worsen and pose short to long-term consequences. Here are some steps that can be taken to reduce your risk of a sports injury.

  • Warm up & Cool down

    Warm-ups help prepare the body for exercise by gradually increasing the heart rate, promoting blood flow, and loosening the muscles and joints. These short exercises, which include stretching, jogging and cycling, will not only reduce risk of muscle strains, but also prevent aggravation of an old or recent sports injury as well.

    Meanwhile, cool-downs are low-intensity exercises that gradually bring the heart rate back to normal and help reduce muscle soreness after workout sessions. These include walking and stretching.

  • Practice Proper Technique

    Maintaining proper form and technique while engaging in sports or intense exercises will prevent excessive stress on the body. Coaches and professional trainers are always ready to provide sound advice and instructions on how to perform exercises in a safe way that prevents injuries.

  • Increase Intensity Gradually

    A good and safe rule to follow is not to increase the intensity, frequency or duration of any sports activity or exercise by more than 10% per week. Doing so gives the body time to recover and acclimate to a more demanding fitness level.

    For people who are diagnosed with or are at a greater risk of developing a cardiovascular condition, a consultation with a sports surgeon or doctor is highly encouraged before starting or modifying your fitness routines.

  • Wear Appropriate Gear

    Properly-fitted, protective sports equipment should always be worn when engaging in high-intensity contact sports to prevent sports injury. These include footwear, helmets, mouth and face guards, protective cups, and knee, elbow and shin pads.

    The type of sport will determine the suitability of the sports gear, especially when it comes to choosing footwear. Appropriate clothing should be worn as well so as to allow the body to sweat naturally and freely.

  • Take a Break

    When you are tired or in pain from sports and exercising, taking a break to rest the body is a good way to prevent injuries and heat-related illnesses. Drinking lots of fluids to stay hydrated during exercises is also strongly advised.

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