More and more people are playing sports and engaging in physical activity than ever before. Physical activities provide a host of benefits to both young and old. In children, sports can speed up physical and psychosocial development. It also helps adults with stress, anxiety, and other illnesses and diseases. However, it’s not without its dangers.
People should understand the risks of playing sports. While any physical activity carries some risk of injury, we understand that the benefits of leading an active lifestyle outweigh the possible dangers. We have also tried to mitigate the risks by establishing rules for safe and fair play and wearing safety gear. But as anyone who loves sports can attest, wearing the right running shoes or gloves isn’t enough.
There are things you can do to keep yourself safe. If you take a few simple precautions and follow the rules, you can avoid a painful break or sprain that can put you out of commission for a while. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Understand your pain threshold
Some pain is to be expected after hours of playing a sport. It’s normal to feel exhaustion or have sore muscles, but if you’re experiencing pain that’s different from the usual, it could be a sign of a more serious problem. Pain is your body’s way of alerting you to damage, and if you’re experiencing strong pain, you need to seek medical help immediately.
In an ideal world, our bodies would prefer if we engaged in activities that inflicted the least pain and stress. But some sports are just too enjoyable to quit, even if they do cause the occasional sprain. Some players like to push through the pain, but ignoring the early signs of damage can lead to lifelong injuries. Know when your body is telling you enough.
Get an annual physical exam
We all like to think that we’re fit enough for sports, but stress, age, and genetics can all take their toll on our bodies. Whether you play sports for fun or in a competitive capacity, you need to get an annual physical exam just to check if you’re fit to return to the field or the court.
A physical exam can help identify problems early on, which could be aggravated or worsened with prolonged physical exertion. You can also take this opportunity to voice out any complaints or concerns about your body. If you’re feeling pain or soreness in the same area, now’s the time to point it out.
Vary your physical activities
It’s not uncommon for people to stick to a single routine. Whether it’s swimming, basketball, or running, if it’s something you love and enjoy, you can do the same thing every day for a long time. But monotony can lead to pain and muscle damage. It’s important to vary your physical activities and play more than one type of sports to allow your joints and muscles to rest.
You should also monitor the amount of physical activity you get. Overexertion is a serious problem, so give your body some time to rest between workouts. For instance, if you did leg exercise today, focus on upper-body activities tomorrow.
Always warm up
One of the best ways to prime your body for physical activity and avoid unnecessary injury is to warm up. Even something as simple as stretching activates your body and primes you for prolonged physical exertion.
You might want to study some basic static and dynamic warm-up techniques for optimal ways to prepare your body and loosen your muscles. Exercises that force you to hold a position for a period, such as toe touches, fall under the static umbrella. Meanwhile, anything that involves movement is considered a dynamic exercise.
Follow the proper form and technique
Every sport or activity has the right way of doing things. There are rules you have to follow to ensure fair play and to keep all players safe. In certain sports, there are also a number of banned maneuvers which you shouldn’t attempt in a live setting.
Whether you’re swimming, running, or playing basketball, it’s important to follow proper form and technique. Bad form is something that’s difficult to unlearn, so you need to emphasize the correct way of doing things every single time.
It’s easy to get carried away while playing a sport, and one small injury could snowball into a lifetime of pain. It’s important to follow the relevant rules and regulations while playing a game and to practice good sportsmanlike conduct. Listen to your body if you’re having difficulty and see a doctor right away.