Sports and exercise play big roles in keeping in shape and staying healthy. Hurting yourself can ruin all the fun, but there are ways the athlete in all of us can prevent an injury.

Warm Up and Cool Down

Don’t just get right into the activity. Warm muscles are less susceptible to injury. A warm-up session should last about 5-10 minutes and involve stretching and preparing muscles for activity. A mix of both static (where you hold a stretch for a certain amount of time) and dynamic (where the body continues to move) stretching can loosen muscles.

Walking can help the body warm up and get ready for more strenuous activity.

Make sure the warmup you do fits your sport. Some sports require more intricate warm-up sessions. Check with coaches and trainers to make sure you’re warming up sufficiently.

Also, make sure you’re in the proper physical condition to play a sport or participate in an exercise. Weekend warriors have a high injury rate because they often jump right into an activity without conditioning themselves.

Stretch after games or activities to help increase flexibility and help the muscles cool down. It also helps remove waste products and replaces them with oxygen and nutrients. Cooling down can also help prevent muscle stiffness and can help return your heart rate to a normal pace.

Use Proper Equipment

It seems basic, but protective equipment like pads and helmets are important for preventing injuries. Check to make sure the equipment fits properly. Using gear like mouth guards, gloves, and eyewear isn’t a sign of weakness. It can protect your teeth, hands, eyes, and other important body parts.

Know the Rules and Techniques

Rules aren’t always made to be broken. In sports, rules often exist to protect the safety of a player. Know the rules and play by them. Rough play doesn’t make you tougher, but it could injure you.

Proper technique can also prevent injury. Ask the experts or take lessons before playing a sport or beginning a new exercise routine. Learn the proper way to tackle in football or how to swing a golf club. Your body will thank you later.

Hydrate and Eat Right

A well-balanced diet and a regular eating schedule can help keep your body healthy since it will know what to expect.

Make sure to drink enough water before, during, and after activity. Look for signs of overheating like fatigue, nausea, vomiting, confusion, or fainting.

Listen to Your Body

Your body tells you when it has had enough. Don’t play through pain. Pain indicates a problem, so listen to the warning signs the body gives.

Know your physical limits. Build up strength and stamina gradually to avoid injuring yourself. It takes time to increase fitness levels, but it will happen if you do things correctly.

Rest between days of training. Muscle fatigue and lack of sleep can predispose someone to injury. Also, don’t just do one activity. Overuse can lead to an injury.

If you hurt yourself, the professionals at B3 Medical can help you feel better. We believe life should be healthy and pain-free. We try to avoid surgical procedures and get you back into the activities you love. Schedule a consultation today.