If you frequently exercise, play contact sports, or partake in other rigorous physical activities, it is likely that you are at risk for a sports injury that could lead to a lengthy healing process and the potential for other medical complications. Sports injuries can often be prevented by ensuring that you stretch or do a simple warm-up activity prior to an intense workout or game since soft tissues are less likely to become injured during physical activity if they have been properly warmed up first. If you are worried about risking a sports injury due to the nature of the activities you are participating in, there are a few extra steps you can take to be safe.
Use Proper Equipment
Although it may sound like common sense to some, it is very important to use proper equipment for a productive and safe workout. Make sure you are wearing proper attire, like appropriately fitted clothing and shoes that are suitable for the activity. For example, if you are playing soccer, make sure that you are wearing protective cleats so that you don’t suffer a foot injury from an oncoming ball. It takes very little time to put on proper equipment, and doing so can ensure you stay safe.
Develop an Alternating Workout Routine
If you are a frequent gym-goer, designate different days for different activities and make sure you are alternating the muscle groups you are working out on a consistent basis. Also, consider workout out every other day instead of seven days a week. This will allow you to rest in between workouts, and ensure that you are not pushing your body beyond your limits. Alternating muscle groups will also prevent you from overworking certain muscles and risking a painful injury. Although taking days off from certain workouts or from the gym altogether can be frustrating, by not doing so, you risk taking prolonged or indefinite time off from the gym should you become injured.
Equally important as stretching before a workout is doing a cooldown exercise when you are done. Cooldown exercises consist of light movement and allow your blood to flow while your body is stretched, significantly lowering your chances of injury. Cooldown workouts can be fairly quick and simple, and can make a huge difference in the level of pain you feel after an intense workout.
Should you become injured, make sure you take the recovery process seriously and listen to your body’s needs. Ice, compression, and elevation can be effective treatments for minor injuries caused by straining physical activity. In the event of a more extreme injury, contact a doctor about your treatment options. Clinics like ThriveMD offer treatments such as Stem Cell Therapy, which uses adult stem cells to treat acute sports injuries. While there are steps you can take to be safe, injuries are not 100% avoidable when working out or playing sports, so make sure you know the risks before you play.