Sports provide us with physical, social and psychological benefits but they also come with their risks. No matter what you’re involved in, you have to be careful to keep your body in tip-top shape and avoid injury as much as possible. There are things you can do to help prevent and reduce injuries.
Check in with your doctor
If you’re getting into a sport that will require more exertion or simply using different muscles, consider having a quick visit with your doctor. An exam, which primarily focusses on cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems, before any sport commitment, can identify potential conditions that you may be predisposed to. This will also allow you to have a conversation with your doctor on aids to help with certain existing ailments or simply ways to avoid exacerbating old injuries or causing new ones.
If you’ve ever been physical before, you know the importance of a simple warm up before any activity. Just 5 – 10 minutes of stretching your muscles to warm them up and another 5 – 10 minutes of low impact aerobic exercise like jogging on the spot, skipping rope or jumping jacks can make the difference between having a great game or becoming injured at some point.
Warming up prepares the body by increasing blood flow, elevating the body’s temperature and improving the range of motion in the joints. Whatever you choose to do, the bottom line is that you need to allow your body to prepare for the impending physical activity.
Staying hydrated means getting enough water before, during and after physical activity. Water regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints plus helps transport nutrients to keep you energized and healthy. If you’re not hydrated, your body simply can’t perform optimally.
Because everyone is unique, there isn’t a one-size-fits all amount of water to drink, however, through some research, we found a few basic guidelines we thought were good to share:
Also remember that it’s even better for you if you start hydrating the day before your activity, and keep on hydrating after.
Cooper Medical Supplies recommends Sqwincher as an even better way to stay hydrated. Sqwincher’s have half the sodium and twice the potassium of other similar beverages which makes them exceptional to have on-hand as hydrating liquid before, during and after any activity.
Lastly, don’t overdo it
Know your body’s limitations and don’t push yourself outside of your physical ability. If you do injure yourself, don’t try to be a hero by ‘pushing through it’ because you’ll only pay a higher price with a worse injury. Pain is a sign that your body needs to stop or change what it’s doing – always listen to your body!
Remember that everything should be done in moderation. This includes your activities. Give your body a rest, make sure you eat a healthy diet, stay social and make sure you ALWAYS STAY HYDRATED.