Article by: HealthTimes
In order to remain at the top of their game in an increasingly competitive sporting world, athletes aim to maximise their fitness and strength. Contact sports have become a brutal contest for domination and have inevitably led to injuries, while weekend warriors and causal sports people have also risked debilitating injuries if preventative steps aren’t taken.
Getting in shape and staying healthy requires a progressive strategy, including avoiding the temptation to go full speed ahead on your first day back at training. Here are three steps to preventing sports injuries.
1. Adjust goals as your fitness improves
Goals need to be realistic and sustainable to avoid new injuries or the recurrence of an old one. If you are new to a sport, take the time to learn proper training and performance techniques under the guidance of an experienced coach.
2. Warm up and cool down
As you exercise, your breathing, heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature all adapt to the change, and with regular exercise your muscles will grow. Moderate fitness is beneficial for everyone but pushing too hard too quickly can cause damage to ligaments, tendons, joints and bones. It is essential to warm up and cool down properly to prevent unwanted sports injuries.
Warm up: before exercise, perform a dynamic warm up suited to your fitness level. This will improve blood flow and mobility but don’t overdo it. Apply a heat product that stimulates muscles, tendons and ligaments, allowing them to stretch comfortably and easily.
Cool down: after exercise, perform a warm down routine immediately after exercise or sport. This allows the body to transition back to a resting state, reduce the heart rate, stabilise breathing and increase oxygen in our body and muscles. Not warming down your muscles can lead to tired muscles, lack of performance, potential immune system issues and so on over time.
3. Listen to your body
Exercise should be steadily increased, and fitness maintained at a level you are comfortable with. Pushing too hard can lead to an injury setback and total derailment of your plans. Your body needs to adjust to the new stresses experienced in muscles, joints and bones.
At Bankstown Physiotherapy, we specialise in treating sporting injuries. Contact us at (02) 9793 3119 to book an appointment today.