3 Ways to Prevent a Sports Injury
Participating in any sport increases your chance of injury. Whether it's a sprained ankle or a pulled muscle, you could end up on the sideline longer than you'd like. The good news is that these injuries can be prevented by following a few simple rules:
1. Warm Up and Cool Down
To warm up, start slow and gradually build up to full speed. This allows your body temperature to rise and blood to flow to your larger muscles. After your activity, cool down by continuing at a slower pace for 5 to 10 minutes. Finish by stretching your muscles to improve range of motion and increase flexibility. Adding a little bit of time to the beginning and end of your activity will help prevent soreness and potential injury later on.
2. Don't Play with an Existing Injury
There is a common misconception that playing through the pain proves your toughness. Unfortunately, trying to hide or avoid injuries can lead to more serious complications later on. When you endure an injury, listen to your body and know where to draw the line.
3. Take Time Off
Pushing your body day in and day out leads to overuse and eventually burn out. When your muscles don't have time to rest and recover, you become much more susceptible to injury. Plan to have at least 1 day off per week and at least one month off per year from training for a particular sport to allow the body to recover.
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