How to Prevent Sports Injuries

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Answered by: Wendy, An Expert in the Injury Prevention Category
Athletes and individuals who participate in sports do so for several reasons. They like the strenuous activity and competition many sports offer. For as much as an athlete loves his or her sport, one of their main priorities is to prevent sports injuries. An injury can put them on the sidelines for several weeks depending on the injury they sustain. Athletes who know their sport well, understand how to prevent sports injuries. Novices would do well to work with a trainer or someone who is already knowledgeable about the sport. This will help them learn proper form and enhance their skill level,

*Warm up/Cool down - One of the basic concepts in preparing for an athletic activity is the process of warming up before and cooling down afterward. Warming up before an activity is basically what it implies. Oxygenated blood is sent to the muscles in preparation for strenuous activity. This prevents cramping and keeps muscles from tearing. Muscles that have been "warmed up" are ready for activity and have the oxygen and nutrients to function at their best. Cooling down after strenuous exercise allows the muscles to gradually return to their relaxed state.

*Wear the Proper Equipment - Football players wear several pads that cover various areas of their body. Baseball players also have several different pieces of protective equipment that prevents them from being injured during play. Helmets are worn by the catcher, umpire and batter in case a ball is fouled back towards them. Shin guards are worn by the catcher in case a runner slides in to home. All of these pieces of equipment serve to protect the athlete from experiencing an injury. It is wise to learn what equipment is available for each sport a person participates in.

*Eating the Proper Diet - All athletes must have adequate nutrients to remain in top shape for their sport. Bodybuilders, for example, require more protein than a runner because their added muscle mass requires it to maintain strong tissue. Football players eat more carbohydrates so they can sustain high levels of energy for longer periods of time. No matter what sport a person is involved in, they all require the nutrients the body needs to compete effectively. Supplements may need to be taken to ensure an athlete receives all of the nutrients they need. Keeping a body strong and healthy helps to prevent sports-related injuries.

*Training Programs - Athletes understand that training is vital to being successful on the field and off. While the diet supplies the nutrients, training teaches the skills needed to perform the sport effectively. Training helps an athlete gain endurance and stamina. Adhering to a proper training schedule helps athletes to prepare for an event or competition. Athletes who do not train sufficiently leave themselves open to various types of injuries. To prevent sports injuries from occurring, an athlete should train at least two or three times a week to keep their body strong and in optimal shape for competition.

Knowing how to prevent sports injuries will keep an athlete in the game longer and help them stay on the road to success.

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