Physical activity offers numerous health benefits, including boosting energy levels, strengthening muscles, keeping bones strong and increasing overall well-being. Sports participation offers an excellent way to maintain physical fitness, while doing something you enjoy. Along with the benefits of sports, however, there are injury risks. With a few tips, you can minimize your chances of injury and stay safe while you’re in play.
Wear the right gear
If you’re used to participating in sports, it might be tempting to think that you can skip some of the protective gear. A skateboarder or soccer player may feel that their experience lessens their need to wear knee pads, while a cyclist may think wearing a helmet is unnecessary.
Wearing protective gear has nothing to do with your skill level. Even elite athletes need to wear the right gear to protect them from injury. It’s also important to wear gear designed to provide protection from bodily harm for your particular sport.
Sports safety starts with wearing the right protective equipment each time you’re out on the field, whether you’re in practice or engaged in a competitive meet. The right shoes, mouth guards, padding and helmets can keep you in the game and lower the risk of sustaining a serious injury.
Get a preseason physical exam
Barrington Orthopedic Specialists offers a Fitness Assessment Evaluation. The hour evaluation includes assessment of flexibility, strength and instruction in a customized home exercise program to meet your specific sports performance needs. This program is offered in the Rehabilitation Department at all 4 locations. To schedule an appointment please call 847 885-0078. For additional information, check out our service page here.
Getting a routine Fitness Assessment Evaluation can help reduce the risk of becoming injured due to preexisting conditions or weaknesses.
Take time to warm up
Don’t underestimate the benefits of properly warming up before exercise or engaging in a sport. Warming up may seem like an optional activity that doesn’t make much of a difference. In reality, warming up can keep you safe on the field.
Warming up properly gradually revs up your system and increases blood flow to your muscles. This helps reduce muscle soreness and lowers the risk of injury. Stretching and walking are both excellent ways to warm up. The type of warmup that is best for you depends on your chosen sport.
Athletes are used to pushing themselves. However, overtraining is one of the most common ways to injure yourself. Millions of athletes suffer from overuse injuries each season. There is such a thing as training too much or training too hard. Pacing yourself, mixing up your routine, and gradually increasing your exercise intensity are ways to lower the chances of sustaining an overuse injury.
Taking time off plays a key role in avoiding overuse injuries. Even if you’re competitive or passionate about your sport, it’s important for athletes to take at least one day off each week from training or participating in their sport. When it comes to avoiding injuries, the time you spend outside the gym is just as important as the time you spend inside.
Use proper form and technique
In every sport there are correct and incorrect ways to do things. Whether you’re just practicing or it’s game time, using the correct form and technique is crucial to preventing injuries. Sports techniques are designed to help you perform your best and remain safe on the process. For example, proper tackling techniques help football players limit the risk of serious injuries. Make a commitment to using the proper technique each and every time.
Barrington Orthopedic Specialists offers the highest quality in orthopedic care. Our Sports Medicine physicians are Dr. Sean Jereb and Dr. Jason Rotstein. To schedule an appointment please call 847 285-4200 or book your request conveniently online.