As an athlete or sportsperson (or simply as a parent of a budding sports-star), you want to do well in your chosen game but, at the same time, you also wish to avoid sports injuries. Injuries from sports are inevitable but, by taking certain precautions, you can reduce long term risks and complications and keep yourself/ or your child safe. Here are some easy ways to avoid sports injuries.
1. Take proper training
The number one reason behind sports injuries is improper training and technique. Training can help you understand the right technique and also avoid equipment failure or anatomical issues that commonly cause sports injuries.
2. Watch out for signs of injury
Some athletes can tell right away if they are in pain; others try to brave it out. It is essential to watch out for signs of injuries which could include:
- Avoiding putting pressure on injured part
- Showing signs of pain during the activity such as breathlessness, stiffness etc
- Inability to sleep
- Experiencing unusual fatigue or weakness
- Tingling sensation in toes or fingers
- Redness or blisters
In case of children: if the child complains of sharp shooting or stabbing pain during the activity, it is vital to stop the activity immediately.
3. Get a pre-participation physical exam
This is an important way to avoid sports injuries in kids and adults. An assessment exam can help you prevent and treat preexisting conditions and also avoid potentially dangerous sports injuries.
4. Warm up is a must!
To avoid sports injuries a warm-up activity is a must. Parents must encourage the child to start the activity gradually. This will get the heart rate up at a normal rate and also prepare the body for the strenuous activity. Warm up can be done by jogging in place for a few minutes, doing some stretches and other low-impact exercises to release tension in muscles. Stretching is particularly important to go beyond normal resistance, at the same time, you must avoid overstretching. Hold each stretch for no more than 10-12 seconds.
5. Cool down is important too
Cooling down is as important as warming up. It allows the heart rate to come down to normal and prevents the body from cooling down rapidly. Cool-down stretches can also be done after the activity is over.
6. Get proper training instructions
Obtain proper training and technique instructions from the coaches and trainers. This is important to avoid sports injuries. Parents must ensure that the child listens to the coaches and avoids jumping right into the activity before understanding the proper technique. As a parent, you can also talk to the child’s coaches whether the program might cause long term or recurrent issues. The coaches must take your child’s current physical strength and fitness level into account before designing a program that complements it.
7. Train in steps
You (or your child’s) coach will ideally increase the training in steps. Instead of going from 0 to 100% coaches must use the 10% rule: do not increase weights, pace or training by more than 10% in one week. This will give your body the time needed to recover.
8. Use the right gear
As parents concerned about avoiding sports injuries in kids, it is important to have the child wear the right training attire, proper sports shoes and also use the correct training equipment. You can also conduct weekly inspections and checks to ensure that the equipment is functioning properly.
9. Stay hydrated
People new to sports and kids in training often fail to drink adequate quantities of water. Water and sports drinks can keep you hydrated, which, in turn, can help your muscles work properly. See to it that you take a break every 20 minutes to re-hydrate. Increase the quantity of fluids you drink based on the temperature and time spent doing the activity.
10. Mix things up
People new to sports must try and take frequent breaks or at least mix up sports activities to prevent getting burnt out. Kids and adults who play sports are also more likely to overuse their muscles and tendons and, as a result more likely to injure them as well. Frequent breaks from sports will allow the body to rest and recover and prevent overuse injuries. Playing different sports throughout the year can also relax overused muscles and prevent the same set of muscles from being worked constantly.
Use these 10 easy ways to avoid sports injuries.