Sports aren’t just for pro athletes. Rather, millions of “regular” people play sports all the time. From kids in grade school to adults in their mid-50s, playing a sport can be a wonderful diversion and a great way to stay fit. However, it is worth remembering that sports –– like any form of strenuous exercise –– can present certain health risks. Indeed, it’s possible for an individual to injure themselves even in a friendly, low-key pickup game. With that in mind, today we’ll share five tips that everyone should know and follow to prevent sports-related injuries from occurring. Check them out here:
Listen to Medical Advice
Before anyone engages in a sporting event, they should first check with their doctor to see if they’re physically fit enough to do so. For some people, this may mean simply getting a physical every year or so. Yet, if you have any underlying condition or if you’ve undergone a procedure lately, your doctor may advise you to wait and abstain from sports for a while. This may seem obvious, but always listen to what your doctor says. For example, individuals who have recently had foot surgery should recognize bunion surgery recovery time can last several weeks, and they should follow their doctor’s instructions to avoid further complications.
Warm-Up Before and Rest Afterward
Sports can sometimes provide an intense workout, which is why it’s key to always stretch thoroughly before you play any game. Doing so can prevent injuries like muscle tears. What’s more, after the game, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to cool down and rest. Don’t try to play when you’re sore and always allow your body to recuperate.
Playing sports in extreme weather conditions can be dangerous –– even for athletes in their prime. It’s vital for anyone playing any sport to stay hydrated throughout the game. Otherwise, you could experience heat stroke, severe dehydration, or even worse side effects.
Follow the Rules
Most sports have rules in place to ensure the safety of the players involved. While minor infractions may simply be “part of the game,” athletes of all ages should do their best to avoid situations that put themselves or fellow players in danger. Remember, playing a clean game will keep everyone safe and happy!
Don’t be a Hero
Sure, plenty of people experience aches and pains when they play sports. That’s fine. But there’s a big difference between a few bumps or bruises and feeling genuinely hurt or injured during a game. If you feel serious discomfort or pain, then you should stop playing immediately. Competitive individuals love sports, but winning a game is not worth exacerbating an injury and harming yourself more than necessary. Keep a little perspective whenever you step on the field, court, or ice, and know when you need to take yourself out of the action. A little prudence can go a long way toward protecting your health and wellness!