Playing sports is a great way to stay healthy – for most people, most of the time. However, playing sports is not without its share of health risks as well. This short post will guide you in six ways to make sure you stay healthy when you are playing the sports you love.
1. Warm up and cool down.
The Medical Center at Ohio State University recommends a thorough warm-up and cool-down session between workouts or sports matches to prevent injuries to muscles and ligaments. Without these important preparatory and restorative sessions, you could injure yourself just by walking out of a match while your muscles are still overheated!
2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
The American Academy of Pediatrics stresses the critical importance of hydration in preventing sports injuries. Water and electrolytes help your body to keep its natural balance and prevent injuries due to overheating.
3. Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
There is no substitute for eating a daily healthy diet with the right balance of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Food is the fuel your body will use to sustain you while you are playing sports. The best approach is to consult your doctor to determine your specific caloric needs for your type of sport.
4. Get prompt medical attention for injuries.
If you suspect you are injured, failing to act promptly can just exacerbate the injury. Be sure to visit your medical doctor right away for an assessment and specific treatment recommendations. If available, you can also visit their store to pick up braces and gear to support you while you are injured.
5. Take good care of your sports equipment.
WebMD cites a less well-recognized cause of sports injuries – not taking proper care of your gear, equipment, and accessories. For instance, if your sport requires protective gear such as a helmet, make sure it is graded for your sport, fits properly, and is in good condition. Same goes for the equipment you use, from boxing gloves to footwear.
6. Take rest days.
The University of Rochester Medical Center states that the failure to take adequate rest days is one of the most common causes of sports injuries. While you may feel fine, inside your skin, your muscles and ligaments are still trying to rest and repair themselves from your last workout or sporting match. Rest days give your body time to do any necessary interior restorative work to keep you healthy.