Whether you’re a competitive athlete, a gym rat, or a recreational sports player, it’s important to know how to safely play sports and avoid sports injuries. Playing sports either recreationally or competitively can be great exercise and can greatly impact your health, but you should always make sure you are taking precautions to do these activities safely. If you want to know how to avoid sports injuries, here are some tips.
Make Sure You’re in Proper Shape
Before you embark on a sports competition, you should always make sure you’re in the proper shape to play the game. This doesn’t fully have to do with overall fitness, but it could also include whether you’ve recently been sick, are coming off of a previous injury, or if you’re recovering from a medical procedure. Never play a sport if you’re not ready to do so, shape-wise.
Play by the Rules
While it may seem boring, playing by the rules can help you reduce the risk of getting a sports injury. The rules of certain sports are put in place to keep people safe, so that means don’t get overly rough if you’re playing touch football, don’t try to use your hands if you’re playing soccer, and always listen to the referees or umpires in any sport.
With all exercise, you should make sure you warm up your muscles before you start playing. This can help you avoid injuries from pulling tendons or muscles. Your warm-up may include stretches, jogs, or even mental affirmations.
Wear Protective Gear if Needed
Some sports, such as hockey, rugby, football, and soccer, provided that you wear certain protective gear in order to play. Always make sure you wear what the sport calls for, whether that’s padding, helmets, or shin guards.
Take Rest Days
Sports playing is exercise, and it should be treated as such in any fitness plan. That means you should take rest days when needed so you don’t overexert yourself. Stressing out your body and muscles in this way is a surefire way to cause a sports injury.