As with any sport or exercise program, there are always associated risks and the possibility of getting injured. However, research has suggested that "injury rates could be reduced by 25 percent if athletes took appropriate preventative action." Here are a few strategies that can help reduce the risk of sports injuries.
- Be in proper shape. Don't expect the sport to get you in shape. One of the best ways to prevent sports injuries is to build and condition the muscles for the sport or activity you are doing.
- Know the proper form. If you're starting a new exercise program or sport, don't be afraid to take a lesson or class. Poor or incorrect form can result in both acute and chronic injuries. A trained professional can identify bad habits, train you on proper form and help prevent injuries from occurring.
- Warm up and cool down. Warming up and cooling down can help reduce your risk of sports injuries and also improve your athletic performance. Warming up raises your muscles' temperature for better flexibility and range of motion. Cooling down allows your heart rate and blood pressure to gradually recover after intense activity. Stopping suddenly can cause your heart rate and blood pressure to drop, which can make you feel dizzy or light-headed. Here are some examples of warm-up and cool-down activities.
- Avoid playing or exercising when fatigued or in pain. It' important to learn to listen to your body. Ignoring the warning signs that your body gives you could result in a more serious injury.
- Rest days. Playing or exercising hard every day takes a toll on your body. Rest days reduce injury risks because they give muscles time to repair themselves. Experts recommend that at least one day a week be dedicated to rest. The ZEEQ Tracker Smart Pillow is great for athletes who need to rest. It's designed for those with an active lifestyle who want the insights needed to take their recovery to the next level.
- Treating an injury. If you do sustain a sports injury, it' good to remember RICE, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Using the RICE method as soon as possible after an injury can reduce pain and swelling. As with any injury, it' best to contact your doctor or healthcare provider before attempting to treat the injury at home.