How Is Your Health?

5 Tips For Avoiding Sports Injuries

by Camila Davidson

Playing sports is a great way to stay in shape and make new friends. However, if you are not careful on the field, you are more likely to sustain injuries that will cause you to miss time from work or school. While not every injury can be avoided, you can take steps to lower your risk of getting hurt while playing sports.

Wear Protective Gear

Wearing protective gear is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of sports injuries. The type of gear you wear will depend on the sport you play. For example, you'll always want to wear a helmet when playing football, baseball, and biking. Other protective gear, like knee pads and mouth guards, can also keep you safe on the field.

Don't Forget to Warm Up

No matter what type of sport you play, you should warm up for at least 10 minutes beforehand. Doing so will warm up your muscles and lessen your risk of getting hurt. Good examples of warm up exercises include jumping jacks, side shuffles, leg swings, and arm circles.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating healthy foods can help your muscles recover faster and avoid injuries. Fill your diet with lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates. After a game or practice, eat a high-protein meal, like chicken or salmon, to repair your muscles.

Get Proper Rest

When you are an athlete, it is even more important to get eight hours of sleep every night. If you skimp on sleep, your muscles will not have a chance to recover and you will increase your risk of getting injured. Try to avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages in the evening so that you fall asleep faster.

Don't Play Through Pain

If you start to feel pain while playing a sport, you should stop immediately. If you try to pay through the pain, you could seriously injure yourself. Go get some rest and drink plenty of water. You should also get checked out by a sports physician before you get back on the field. He or she will give you a physical examination and determine if it is safe for you to continue playing.

If you've suffered a sports injury, you should see a sports injury physician as soon as possible. He or she will examine your injury and recommend the appropriate treatment. The sooner you get your injury looked at, the better.