There are so many advantages of exercising regularly and participating in sport from weight loss and cardiovascular health to social opportunities. Staying involved in some form of exercise is recommended for a long and healthy life but unfortunately, there are downsides to playing sport also. In particular, there is a high chance of getting an injury in higher risk sports and contact sports. Additionally, as people get older they tend to be more prone to picking up injuries like strained backs and injuries related to muscle tears.
There are many ways to help prevent injuries, including:
Warming up – Warming your muscles up before exercise is important throughout life, not just as you get older. Cooling down is also a good way to avoid picking up injuries. Warming up involves the warming of the body temperature and muscles, which makes them looser and therefore less likely to incur damage. It also increases heart rate and respiratory rate that helps you to get ready for exercise.
Protective equipment – For many sports, protective clothing and equipment is necessary. For example, American footballers wear helmets and padding to help prevent injury. Whatever sport you play, there will be specific equipment that you may want to buy. If you are cycling for example, you really should wear a helmet to prevent head injuries if you were to fall off. If you have a weak area such as an ankle injury then you might benefit from wearing supportive bandaging to give the body area more strength.
Play on well-maintained surfaces – In amateur sport, a lot of injuries can be picked up through uneven, badly kept grass pitches. For example, an uneven playing field can result in ankle and knee injuries as players trip or get their knee twisted, as their foot isn’t supported properly. A lot of football tournaments are now held on artificial grass pitches to ensure that the pitch is always even to reduce the likelihood of injuries. The design of artificial pitches have really progressed from the earlier examples and you can now get ones that have softer surfaces to protect players when they fall. The designs are so good that many people use artificial grass to create a fake lawn in their garden. Go to this site to find out more.
Training – If you put in lots of work to train and build up your muscles then you are less likely to get injured playing sport. People who turn up and play sports without doing any training are at greater risk because they do not have the muscle tone to support them. Increasing your flexibility through different types of exercises and stretches is another good precaution, so taking up yoga can help people to improve their flexibility.
Be sensible – You should always listen to your body, as even small pains are trying to tell you that there is a problem. Lots of people try to ‘play through the pain’ but this can often lead to bigger problems if adequate rest isn’t taken to ensure the problem clears up. Obviously your choice of sport will have an influence on how susceptible you are to injuries, so if you have a history of knee injuries, you probably want to avoid sports that involve twisting of the knee. Sometimes it is hard to give up a sport that you love but you will be better off avoiding serious injury so that you have better mobility later on in life. You can choose other sports that are not as intensive or don’t affect your weak spots to the same level.