Steps You Can Take to Prevent Athletic Injuries

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, athletic injuries are at an all-time high.   They also say, however, that over half of them could have been avoided, if adequate care had been taken before the fact.  Additionally, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases estimates just over a quarter of sports injuries could be reduced, if all athletes were to follow the proper safety guidelines.Sports injuries, as you can tell, are no small thing.  They are often expensive to treat, and typically delay further the fitness results you want to see.  Below are some steps you can take to prevent injury, and they are much more simple than you think.

Prevent Athletic Injuries

Take Your Time

Fitness doesn’t happen overnight.  You’re not going to go into the gym a weakling, and come out a bodybuilder after only a few hours.The logic is simple, however it is one of the primary errors made in athletes who want to see immediate results.  It is considered healthy for one to exercise for about an hour a day, give or take with regards to schedule, regime, and other health conditions.  It is not normal for a runner to begin his or her health journey running ten miles per day, and a new weightlifter should not be benching three-hundred pounds.You can better meet your goals if you take it slow, and pay attention to your body.  Looking back at the examples listed above, a wise runner typically increases his or her mileage by about ten percent per week.  If muscle training is more your style, you might want to begin with resistance bands, such as the set sold by Black Mountain, before you ever begin training with dumbbells or barbells.Ultimately going slow will, in the long run, lead to less injuries and quicker results.  Should you feel any pain or discomfort during exercise, it would be wise to contact your doctor immediately.

Get in Position

One of the many factors of good athletic technique is position, which can dramatically decrease your chances of sprains, tears, and fractures when given the proper attention.As a general rule, your back should be kept straight and your shoulders relaxed during any athletic activity.  Runners should keep an eye on their feet and ankles, while tennis and golf players should make sure the alignment of their wrists and hands is up to par.For tips on how to maintain a proper form, you should contact a coach or athletic trainer.  While online guides are a good place to begin, they are no match for an in-person consultation.

Use Protection

I’m sure you have been told, at least once in your life, to wear a helmet while biking or skating.  Although your mom’s nagging might have seemed a bit extreme for a short ride down the road, it did prevent your little bruise from being a concussion.Proper protective gear is essential for all sports.  Some ideal examples are football players and hockey players, whose activities require mouth guards and joint padding in order to prevent painful, deadly injuries.  You should also know your gear must be well-fitting and in good condition, otherwise it is as though you are wearing nothing at all.To find the right protective gear for your sport, you should have it fitted at your local fitness store.  Almost any shop will be willing to help you find what you need.

Guzzle Up

Although acidic drinks like Gatorade and Powerade are advertised as the premier nectars of fitness, they cannot compete with good old water.In a survey, it was shown even the most experienced athletes were drastically underestimating their hydration needs, and were drinking almost twenty ounces less than what they should have been consuming.A few wise tips would be to continue to drink water before, during, and after your exercise.  If  doing something that is heavily aerobic and does not allow for drinking in sport, take a break and cool down so you can swallow some cool water.  You should also not wait until thirsty to drink, as physical thirst is a signal your body is already dehydrated.In all, you should always take proper caution before, during, and after any sort of physical activity.  Do not exercise when injured, and always take sufficient care of your injury.  Follow RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation), and try to take it easy after you are cleared to continue your normal routine.Following an injury that requires physical therapy, an effective form of home treatment are resistance elastics.  Indicated earlier as being excellent for the building of muscle, they hold their roots in the doctor’s office.  To find the best resistance band for you, see this article with reviews.