Sports injuries can affect people of all ages and all athletic levels. Knowing how to prevent injuries is an important part of staying healthy, so you can enjoy all the activities you love.
At True Kings Healthcare in Rockville, Maryland, Takura A. Tela, DC, offers comprehensive chiropractic services to help athletes of all levels prevent sports injuries. If being more active is part of your New Year’s agenda, here are five things you can do to keep injuries at bay.
1. Don’t skip the warmup
Warming up may feel like a waste of time when you’re ready to play, but it’s actually really important for preventing injuries. Warming up increases the supply of oxygen-rich blood to your muscles, so they’re ready to perform. It also makes them warmer, so they’re more flexible.
To warm-up, do some light aerobic exercise. Five minutes on the treadmill or jogging in place is a good warmup activity, and it can help you cool down after a workout, too. If you want to stretch, do dynamic (movement) stretches, not static stretches.
2. Stay hydrated
Even when you’re not active, your body needs at least 8 cups of water every day (about 64 ounces). If you’re active or the weather is warm, it needs even more.
To keep your body hydrated during your activity, drink 2 cups before you begin your activity, then another half cup or so every 15-20 minutes to replace fluids and keep your joints and muscles lubricated.
Afterward, replenish lost fluids with additional water or sports drinks designed to replace electrolytes as well as water.
3. Dress for success
Physical activity puts a lot of demands on your body. Wearing the right gear and proper footwear can give your body the support it needs to perform well and avoid injuries.
It’s not enough to just grab a pair of sneakers and go. Many sports have footwear designed specifically for the activity. These shoes provide optimal support for your arches, your ankles, and the rest of your foot, reducing strain on your feet, your legs, and even your back.
4. Adjust your workout
Your sport might put a lot of strain on your legs or your arms. But when you’re doing your workout, don’t focus only on those areas. When your body is fit and ready for action, your reflexes and flexibility are at their peak, and that means you can avoid falls and other accidents that can cause serious injuries.
Change up the types of exercises you do, too. Try aerobics on one day and strength training on the next. This type of training gives your body time to relax and build new muscle, and it also prevents muscle fatigue that could lead to injuries.
5. Pay attention to your body
Your body is designed to perform all sorts of activities, and when it’s ready to rest, it lets you know that, too. If you’re feeling tired or worn out, take a break. Don’t push yourself beyond those limits, because that’s when injuries are more likely to occur.
Chiropractic care and sports injury prevention
Chiropractic care focuses on balancing and aligning your musculoskeletal system, so your body works the way it’s supposed to. When your body is aligned, it performs better, and that means you reduce your risk of injuries.
If an injury does occur, chiropractic care can help. At TK Healthcare, we design custom rehabilitation programs aimed at restoring pain-free function, so you can continue to enjoy the activities you love.