Sports Safety Tips
By Editorial Staff
Contributed by Info Guru Paul Seaburn
Here’s a philosophical question to ponder during your next workout.
Which came first – playing in sports or getting sports injuries? The benefits of physical activities generally outweigh the risk of injury, but a little bit of safety can keep you from losing your fitness due to discomfort, pain or incapacity. These sports safety tips will keep you on your feet and off the trainer’s table.
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10. Talk to your doc
Before starting a fitness program or joining a team, always pay a visit to your personal doctor for a check-up. Explain to the doctor what your plans are and get recommendations for injury prevention.
Even if you’ve seen the sport on TV, take some time to learn the basic skills necessary to play it. If you are going to add basketball to your fitness regimen, for example, learn the game from a coach, a basketball training video or a book.
8. Use the right gear
Wear equipment designed for the sport or activity you’re in. Use all of the safety equipment available and make sure helmets, pads and other safety gear fits properly.
7. Check the field
Check the field or playing area beforehand to make sure there aren’t any spots that could cause injury. Watch for ruts, stones or soft spots on an outdoor field and wet, rough or uneven spots on indoor floors. Also make sure the playing equipment is in good working order.
6. Dress appropriately
Dress according to the activity, the weather and the level of exertion. Light clothing might work great in wicking away sweat but it offers little protection from wind and cold. When in doubt, got with multiple thin layers that can be added or removed.
Stretch and warm up before starting a game or activity to give your muscles time to acclimate to added exertion. Getting the blood circulating loosens muscles and stretching helps prevent strains and pulls.
Bring plenty of water or sports drinks even if it’s cold outside. Dehydration can occur in any conditions and you can’t always count on there being enough fluids for everyone.
3. Check medications
If you are taking medications, check with your doctor about using them while exercising. Some can cause dehydration and others may affect or be affected by exertion.
2. Cool down
Cool down and stretch again after sports activity. Cooling down helps the body ease into a resting state while stretching can help avoid muscle soreness.
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If you feel extra soreness or a slight pain after a workout, follow the RICE plan – rest, ice, compress and elevate. If you don’t feel better in a day or two, have it checked out – playing with an injury will just make it worse.
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