Athletes of all ages will more than likely experience some sort of injury in their athletic careers. These injuries can come from practice, games, or even training sessions and can keep players out for a significant amount of time. No one enjoys spending time rehabbing or being on the sidelines, which is why athletes should be taking proper precautions to make sure they are staying healthy and injury free.
There are many types of injuries athletes can experience through sports, like muscle tears, sprains, strains and even broken and fractured bones. Here are some tips all athletes should keep in mind on ways to prevent injuries and how to keep your body healthy and strong.
Proper nutrition is one thing athletes can focus on to help prevent injuries from occurring. Just as a car needs quality fuel to run, your body needs quality nutrients to be able to compete at a high level day in and day out. Be sure to fuel your body properly before and after each workout, practice or game. Although it may not seem like it, this is one of the best ways to prevent injuries. Also, hydration is vital for your muscles. Every athlete should be striving to drink their body weight in ounces of water daily.
Proper warm up/stretching
Another thing all athletes should be doing is properly warming up and stretching before exercise. Usually, during practices and games, your coaches will walk you through a warm up, but it’s essential that you are actually taking the time to stretch and make sure you are fully ready to give it your all. Not warming up before working out, especially weight lifting and speed training, can put you at a higher risk of tearing, spraining or straining your muscles. Stretching before exercise also helps you play and work at your best ability.
Athletes should perform dynamic stretches before exercise. Dynamic stretching is when you move your joints and muscles at full range of motion. High knees and other mobility lifts are examples of this.
Proper cool down/stretching
Stretching should not be limited to just before you exercise. It’s also important to make sure you are cooling down and stretching post-exercise. Stretching after your workout will get rid of some of the lactic acid that has built up, helping you reduce soreness the next day as well as keep your muscles healthy and strong.
Athletes should perform static stretches after exercise. Static stretching is when you hold a certain stretch for at least 10 seconds.
Lastly, it’s important that you are never overdoing it when working out, especially at practices and training sessions. If you feel any pain or tightness in your muscles, the smart decision is to take some time off. Whether it’s a couple of days or a couple of weeks, taking time off from exercise will allow your injury to heal and it will help prevent more serious injuries from happening in the future.
No athlete enjoys getting hurt and having to sit out. Luckily for athletes, there are many ways to prevent injuries. By focusing on proper nutrition, stretching before and after exercising and taking time to let your body rest and recover, every athlete can help themselves prevent injuries from occurring.
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