Minor sporting injuries are common, but they don’t have to be. Strains and sprains can happen when people overtax themselves during a workout. A strain or sprain develops when too much pressure has been placed on a muscle, ligament or tendon. Although the human body is designed for movement, there are some strategies that should be used to help prevent these injuries.
Warming up is one of the most important things that athletes can do before starting a workout. Generally, people understand that it’s important to warm up for a team sport, and it is incorporated into every practice or pregame ritual. However, it’s important to warm up before a minor jog or a weight-lifting session, too. Warming up before any workout is one of the best ways to prevent injury. A warm-up should also challenge muscles in different ways. The 11-plus soccer warm-up has sharply reduced injuries in UK youth soccer. A short walk, some leg swings and arm swings are common workout strategies for runners.
Stretching is another strategy that can be effective in preventing injury. It’s not necessarily a good idea to stretch before a warm-up, though. Stretching, or over-stretching, cold muscles can lead to deeper injuries. Common stretches for weekend warriors include lower and upper calf stretches, gluteal stretches and hamstring stretches. It’s a good idea to research relevant stretches for a specific workout or sport. Stretches for runners, swimmers, skaters, and weight-lifters will all be slightly different. Stretching after a long run or intense workout is more vital in preventing injuries.
Another point is that athletes must know their own limits. Someone getting back into an exercise program should not push themselves as far as an experienced athlete can. It’s important for athletes to listen to their bodies. Cramps, soreness, and tiredness are all signs that should be heeded. It’s a good idea to start out slow, earning for distance or reps over pushing for weight or speed. Even people training for long events like marathons should build slowly.
Exercising more often and maintaining better health are great ways to help prevent injury. Starting an exercise program is always a challenge as the body adapts to new activities. Once fitness is routine, aches and pains become less common. The range of motion can be maintained or even improved. The important part is just to get started.