Like brushing your teeth, or wearing a seat-belt while in the car, some decisions are a no-brainer. When it comes to sports activities, taking reasonable precautions and playing by the rules just makes sense. Sports are an enjoyable way to stay in top form and maintain an active lifestyle. To do that though, you really should practice safer sports to avoid game-changing sports injuries. If you, or a loved one is active in sports, you should build certain habits that can reduce the odds of a sports related injury. Here are some tips to keep you at the top of your game:
Wear the Right Equipment: Appropriate sports gear should be comfortable to wear and yet allow for a full range of motion. Football pads, helmets, and mouth guards, for example, need to be in good condition and fitted to match the size of the player. Equipment should be cleaned properly and inspected on a regular basis.
Maintain Safety Gear: You will want to keep an eye out for cracks, frayed straps, or other damage that might compromise player safety. Wearing the right gear might not stop a fastball from connecting with the batter’s head, but it certainly can mitigate the damage. That can’t happen though, if the rigid plastic is already damaged due to being left out in harsh conditions or from a previous incident.
Warm up and Cool Down: Think of a warm-up as putting your body on notice that something is about to happen. Good warm-ups allow your body to send additional blood and nutrients that are vital to your wellbeing. It also allows your muscles and connective tissues to stretch out more slowly, lessening your odds of a torn ligament or overstretched tendon. A cooldown does the same thing in reverse; cooling down gives your body a chance to begin the healing process, reducing inflammation while preventing blood from pooling in the large muscle groups.
Good Hydration: Water really is your friend, as are electrolytes, which allow your cells to function normally. Staying hydrated helps your body regulate your core temperature, lubricates your joints, and supplies your body with the critical nutrients you need to perform. It also helps your body carry away damaged cells and encourages healing while preventing muscle cramps and dizziness.
Don’t Play When Injured: Many athletes have been taught to “suck it up” and play, even when injured. That is really a dangerous mindset. After all, your body can’t talk to you about its needs. Pain is the only signal it has to tell you when something is wrong, so injuries should not be ignored. If you have an injury, get it checked out before resuming play.
Sports injuries are not predictable. They do not follow a calendar or send you an advance warning by email. That’s why we are open and ready to help you 7 days a week, 365 days a year, with no appointment needed. Get the care you need, when you need it. For more information, please call our Fairless Hills urgent care center at (267) 202-6433.