There are of course many benefits to an active lifestyle, and for most healthy adults the Department of Health and Human Services recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of more vigorous aerobic activity each week.
However, when exercising or taking part in sports, you should always be aware of the risk of injury and take the necessary steps to prevent a sports injury.
How can I prevent a sports injury?
At Active Clinics, we understand the importance of avoiding accidents during exercise and have created this handy guide to help you prevent a sports injury and ensure you’re in good shape and able to take part in regular physical activity.
Make sure you Warm-up Before Exercise
Warming-up before exercise is crucial to prepare your body for physical activity and when done correctly, can be paramount to prevent a sports injury. It helps by gradually increasing your heart rate and circulation, which results in increased joint mobility and blood flow to your muscles. This gets your muscles ready for exercises and helps you to avoid sports injuries such as strains.
Take Time to Cool Down After Exercise
Taking the time to cool down correctly after exercise can also prove vital for preventing a sports injury. After taking part in sports or other physical activity, spend at least ten minutes cooling down with gentle exercise. This helps to restore your heart rate to a regular pace, encourages your body to remove any excess waste and returns short and tight muscles to their optimal length-tension reducing post-exercise muscle soreness..
Do Not Push Yourself Too Hard
When engaging in physical activity, it’s important that you are aware of your body’s physical limits and do not try to push yourself beyond your current fitness level. If you aren’t in a proper physical condition for the sport or activity, remember to take your time and concentrate on re-building your fitness through regular conditioning exercises.
During vigorous activity or a long period of exercise, it may be beneficial to take a break so that your body can recover and gain lost energy. Failure to rest can result in a sports injury through exertion as well as maximising your risk of fatigue.
Use The Correct Equipment
To reduce the risk of a sports injury, make sure you are using the correct equipment and that you are wearing protective gear if necessary. This includes wearing shin pads for football, a gum shield when playing rugby and even running shoes when hitting the pavement, treadmill or track as they can help to prevent foot and knee sports injuries as well as improve your performance.
Practice Proper Technique
Failure to practice proper technique when taking part in exercise can often result in sports injuries. When starting a new sport or physical activity, it can be extremely important that you receive the correct advice and training from qualified fitness trainers or sports coaches.
Bonus Tip: Eat a healthy, balanced diet to ensure you are fuelling your body correctly and that you are replacing any lost energy or nutrients after exercise as well as maintaining healthy muscles. You should also drink plenty of water to maintain blood volume, regulate your body temperature and allow your muscles to contract.
Sports Injuries at Active Physiotherapy Clinics
If you’ve experienced a sports injury such as pain, swelling, stiffness, tenderness, bruising or restricted movement, then you must stop any further physical activity to prevent any further or more permanent damage.
If you experience any major injury such as a broken bone, head injury or dislocation, then head to your nearest A&E as soon as possible.
Minor sports injuries can often be dealt with at home with rest or a cold compress to reduce swelling. However, if your symptoms are more severe or are failing to improve, you should visit your GP or why not give one of our team a call for a free telephone consultation.
At Active Clinics, we cater to your individual needs and offer physiotherapy services such as sports massage, sports rehabilitation and injury prevention screening.
Book your sports injury physiotherapy appointment today at Active Physiotherapy Bolton or call our experienced team on 0800 6191261 for a FREE telephone consultation.