A 2019 medical report by the Spine Institute of North America and Stanford Health indicated that 62% of sports-related injuries occur during pre-training or at the actual tournament. Sports injuries can be debilitating and can end an athlete’s career. Additionally, these injuries are often excruciating and costly to treat. That said, how can athletes minimize their chances of getting hurt? Check out the following practical tips to help you prevent sports-related injuries.
Warm-Up Before Training and Cool Down After
One of the best ways to prevent sport-related injuries is by incorporating warm-ups and cool-downs pre and post-training respectively. Warming up your body before an active training session allows your muscles to heat up and become more pliable. Science has proven that failing to warm up before an active physical activity makes the muscles taut and subject to injuries. Therefore, a warm-up session can be brisk walking or jogging to prepare your body for your training. You can liken this to starting your car’s ignition to warm up the battery and other critical components contributing to its overall performance.
When you begin an intense physical activity with a warm-up session, your brain gets stimulated to raise body temperature. As neurons connect to elevate body warmth, the same process allows an increased blood flow to the muscles. All these processes come together to reduce the tendency of sustaining an injury during your sporting activity. In another breath, when you’re done, experts advise cooling down right after. This can be stretching or yoga poses to help your heart return to regular beats.
Use Proper Techniques and Protective Gear
Every sports discipline has techniques that influence performance and, most importantly, reduces injuries. These established techniques are deliberate, accurate, and well-defined. Without adhering to these basic requirements, the likelihood of sustaining injuries is higher than usual. For example, in swimming, an athlete is expected to move along in the water while using the correct strokes. Failure to do this can bring on a hamstring or result in a rotator cuff tear.
The rotator cuff is a collection of tendons and muscles present in the shoulder joints. These muscles and tendons play significant roles in moving your shoulders in a circular motion. Moreover, they provide crucial support to hold your upper arms in place. So, if you had to use protective gear, what options would you go for? You may opt for KT athletic tape found at kttape.com, as it provides effective support by keeps these particular muscles in place. Apart from providing support, they are lightweight and do not cause restrictions in movement. You may also use a football helmet if you are a football player.
Be Aware of Pre-Existing Conditions
Have you suffered from a sports injury before? Or, do you have scoliosis or hip misalignment? These are underlying conditions you must be aware of before engaging in any active sporting activity. Ideally, athletes are expected to be in tiptop shape due to the enormous demands on their bodies. Knowing about any pre-existing medical condition will help you seek expert help on how to manage the situation.
One more way to prevent sport-related injuries is by staying hydrated. You must start by being in an euhydrated state (properly hydrated). A simple method of assessing hydration is via urine color – your urine’s color should be light yellow – and thirst – being thirsty means that you are already dehydrated and had significant fluid losses. Hypohydration (fluid deficit) affects physiological function and performance, increases heart rate and core body temperature, slows recovery rate, and decreases flexibility.
The Strength and Conditioning Journal recommends fluid replacement before, during and after exercise:
- You should drink 17- 20 oz of fluid 2- 3 hrs before working out and another 8 oz 20- 30 min before starting your workout.
- Shorter duration exercise bouts (<1 hour) require that athletes replace fluid losses by drinking 7- 10 oz of water every 20 minutes
- High-intensity events lasting longer than 1 hour or lower-intensity events lasting several hours would warrant the use of carbohydrates in addition to simply replacing fluid losses: 30 to 60 g/h (0.5–1 g/min) of carbohydrates to maintain blood glucose levels and exercise performance
- Athletes also need to replace electrolytes lost through sweating. You can do so by adding a pinch of high-quality sea or Himalayan salt to your water
- Post-workout, you should drink at least 8 oz of fluids
*️⃣ You should also keep in mind environmental conditions, intensity level, duration, rest periods, and the amount of clothing worn in order to stay hydrated.
Warm-up, cool-down, use proper technique and protective gear, and stay hydrated in order to prevent sports-related injuries. These tips not only minimize your chances of getting hurt but they’ll allow you to perform at your best.
To a Fitter Healthier You,
The fitness Wellness Mentor