How To Protect Yourself From Sports Injuries
Prevention is better than cure, as the old saying goes. If you’re an athlete in any sport, you’ve probably wondered, at some point or another, what would happen if you were to get injured? How would this affect your performance in your sport? And what about other aspects of your life? Or maybe you’ve already experienced this pain, literally and metaphorically, and want to avoid it happening again.
Here are our top tips on protecting yourself from sports injuries.
Warm Up and Cool Down
Every good athlete knows, and every quality trainer instructs, that a really good warm-up is essential to getting your body ready (literally warmed up) for any physical activity. This will help your blood circulate, get your muscle fibres ready to fire, and improve your workout.
Lately, the idea of priming has become increasingly popular in the fitness community, but can also be applied to those involved in team sports. Priming specific muscle groups (i.e. the ones you’ll be challenging the most in the activity to come) in your warm-up, by doing exercises that target those muscle groups typically with light weights or bodyweight, will prevent the majority of injuries and improve your performance!
Get Enough Sleep
Recent studies point to a higher chance of getting injured in sports after a night of “bad” sleep, meaning less than 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Some even go so far as to conclude that lack of sleep was the leading cause of sports injuries, even more than training.
Sleep deprivation impairs motor accuracy as well and can cause your performance to suffer. And when one wrong move might be enough for you to pull a muscle, you might want to think again about when you go to bed the night before a training session.
Take Care of Your Nutrition
Being deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, as well as low protein intake, has been shown to raise the chances of sports injuries. So, make sure you’re eating an adequate amount of protein for your activity levels, and other biological factors. When it comes to vitamins and minerals, calcium and Vitamin D are the most important, whereas magnesium can prevent muscle spasms, and therefore decrease the chance of injuries. Finally, and perhaps even more importantly on a daily basis, stay hydrated!
What if I Do Get Injured?
In the off chance that you do get injured, which is something we definitely don’t wish for you, know there are things that you can do to help the recovery process. Adequate protein and carbohydrate intake are important for maintaining muscle mass and will help you heal faster. Adequate sleep is, again, crucial.
But what if your injury is more serious and you need additional care such as rehabilitation or physiotherapy? It’s important to have support in such cases. This may mean legal support from an experienced legal firm specializing in sports law such as MJW Law, or the moral support of your fellow teammates, family, and friends.
Either way, we hope it won’t come to this and that you’ll be able to receive that support while they’re cheering you on during your matches, meets, and competitions!