Playing sports is a great way to stay in shape and have fun simultaneously. You can sharpen your skills and reflexes when playing sports that other types of exercise don’t permit.
The other great thing about playing a sport is that there is an ideal sport for every age and fitness level. Older people love to play pickleball and golf, for example. Those with joint issues can do cycling or competitive swimming. There’s something for everybody.
However, anybody who decides to take up a sport has an important thing to consider. Safety should be a priority when playing sports, so it pays to know what to do to stay safe. Injuries can happen to anybody, so the best thing is to avoid them. This article will go over some of the things you can do to stay safe while playing a sport.
1 – Wear the right gear
Sports equipment and clothing are not just a way for sporting goods stores to make more money. There are some essentials that you should wear to properly play the sport. Not only will you get more out of it, but you are lowering your risk of injury.
For instance, if you are going to play soccer, you have to have cleats. If you don’t wear cleats, you risk a fall or straining a muscle when taking a shot since you don’t have anything gripping the ground.
Also, sports glasses for playing basketball or squash are essential since eye injuries are very common in those sports. Figure out the most common injuries in a sport, and you will find the right equipment or attire to wear to prevent an injury.
2 – Know the field
Understanding the conditions on the surface of where you will play will also help you and your teammates stay safe. By doing a walk-through before the game or practice, you will find irregularities that can either be fixed ahead of time or avoided during the game when possible.
For example, if there are any divots in the ground that you could trip over or step into while running, this could cause serious injuries. Many ankle injuries such as sprains and even fractures occur when stepping into a hole in the ground while running at full speed. These can be filled in, and everybody can stay safe.
This also applies to the ice when playing ice hockey, wet spots on a basketball court, or the track at a track and field event.
3 – Warm up ahead of time
Doing some stretches before the game or practice will loosen up the muscles and joints, so it is less likely that you’re going to get injured. Injuries can easily happen when your muscles are tight. The problem is that they get forced when you try to do something, and they aren’t really ready. In fact, muscles can even get torn under pressure when you make certain moves when they are not loose.
Doing 15 minutes of stretching before you play will make a world of difference. The stretches can be in the form of yoga, which is great for their low impact while still getting the blood flowing. Or, you can use some bands to do some resistance and pull your legs into a position and hold them there to get the tendons loose, and the muscles stretched.
4 – Stay hydrated
Drinking enough water when playing sports is essential. If you don’t replace enough water as you sweat it out, you risk severe cramping of your muscles. It isn’t just painful and uncomfortable when you have a muscle cramp. It can also lead to a more serious injury.
As your muscles get tense from not enough water, you will tend to try to force your way through it. This can lead to pulled tendons and even broken bones.
5 – Enforce the rules
Play by the rules and make sure that everybody else does the same. This will be a great way to prevent injuries as it keeps everybody on the same page, and you can all work within certain expectations.
If you try to skirt the rules like checking somebody after the whistle in hockey, for example, then you can cause an injury as they are not braced for the impact. The same goes for aggressive play during the game, as it often leads to injuries.
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