Wednesday January 16, 2019
Playing sports has physical and psychological benefits. As with everything (including sports) there are risks. Continuing from previous blogs for the month of January regarding TBI awareness, below are some important reminders to remain safe while having fun this winter.
Muscles that haven't been properly warmed up tend to be injured more easily. Warming up can involve light cardiovascular activities such as jumping jacks or a brisk walk.
Did you know? Stretching after a warm-up is more beneficial to your muscles since the tissues are more elastic (flexible). This is due to the increased blood flow to the muscles from an increased heart rate.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Remember, if you don’t use it you lose it. Regardless if you belong to a professional sports team or not, practicing can enhance your performance and lessen the chance of injury. Shooting a few free throws before a basketball game for instance, can continually train your brain and body to work together and improve your performance.
Avoid Muscle Strain
Although it’s beneficial to practice regularly, don't overdo it. Sudden increases in intensity whether in sports or working out can lead to muscle overuse and injury.
Now that we’ve warmed up and practiced, let’s go over equipment.
More Essential Equipment
- Most protective eye gear is comprised of polycarbonate and tested especially for sports. This polycarbonate is used in facemasks and/or shields attached to a helmet for sports such as football and baseball.
- Recommended for contact sports such as football, basketball, and hockey where risk for head injury is high. If wearing a retainer, always remove before any exercise, practice, or game.
Wrist, knee, and elbow guards:
- Guards can protect arms, wrists, and knees from fractures and breaks. Sports such as hockey, baseball, and inline skating use pads.
- Just as football and soccer require cleats, activities such as skateboarding and cycling require special footwear. Replace shoes and cleats that have worn out or are no longer supportive.
Equipment Fitting Properly:
- Not only is the right kind of equipment important, so is the right fit. Not sure of the fit? Don’t hesitate to check with your coach, trainer, or sales representative to ensure proper fitting.
The bottom line: Wearing the right equipment with the right fit greatly lowers your risk of getting hurt.
Geared up? Let’s review the rules of the game!
The Rules of the Game
Rules and regulations aren't restrictions - they're designed to keep you safe and injury-free.
Sometimes rules may not be directly related to a sport but need to be followed regardless. Example, when cycling, one needs to pay attention to all traffic laws. Another example of a safe technique. Weightlifters should take a breath between each repetition, exhaling on the pushing phase of a lift. Doing so can prevent a blackout or fainting.
When injured, don’t jump back in the game too soon….. Doing so runs the risk of reinjury. Numerous athletes use medication for pain management. If feeling persistent pain, refrain from medication to mask the pain. Taking medication for a long time in order to play can be dangerous. Pain is the body's way of signaling it's not happy with what you're doing. Looking for muscle relief? Click here!
Be sure to get medical care whenever you have:
- Moderate to severe pain
- Pain interfering with daily activities
- Inability to perform normal activities
- Excessive swelling
One last piece of advice: Don't play when sick. The ability to play safe decreases when your nose is running faster than you can. Playing sick also runs the risk of contaminating the rest of the team. Best to wait until you feel better.
Ready? Set? Let’s PLAY!