You're always at risk of injuries while playing sports or exercising. Even non-contact sports put you at risk, even if you take the necessary steps to protect yourself. But that doesn’t mean you should give up on sports or fall out of shape with a more sedentary lifestyle.
Our team of orthopedic experts and physical therapists at Orthopaedic Surgical Consultants can advise you on how to prevent injuries no matter your sport or exercise of choice. From two convenient offices in Merrillville, Indiana, we serve the Northwest Indiana area, including Munster, Crown Point, St. John, and Dyer. If you’re curious about how to navigate an active lifestyle while minimizing your risk for sports injuries, you’ve come to the right place.
Our sports medicine experts can teach you everything you need to know about injury prevention and athletic safety, including:
Most people realize that a balanced and nutritious diet can improve their overall health. For athletes, nutrition also has a bearing on their physical performance and risk of injuries. And if you do sustain an injury, proper nutrition can lead to a faster recovery.
It can be tricky to curate a healthy diet because your nutritional needs are unique to you. A nutritionist can give you feedback on your current diet and help you make changes to improve your health and sports training routine.
Tips for training
Warm-up and cool-down exercises are crucial when training in any sport. That includes stretching. Be consistent in using these techniques every time you exercise, and be sure to include stretches and exercises that target the muscles you use most.
When you warm up before practice or play, you prepare your cardiovascular system (heart and blood vessels) for the stress they endure as you compete. It also helps give your muscles adequate blood flow and prepares them for stronger movements you use while engaging in the sport, greatly reducing your risk of soft tissue injuries like sprains and strains.
Cooling down after physical activity is essential for injury prevention too. When you stretch after intense exercise, you elongate your muscles so they’re not so stiff, short, or prone to tears. It also improves your flexibility and range of motion.
Improved mechanics and technique
Different sports involve different movements and techniques. By utilizing the proper movements and techniques, you reduce your risk of injury.
It also helps to allow your body time to rest: While it might feel beneficial to practice daily as you prepare for a game or sporting event, too much practice leads to muscle overuse and increases your injury risk.
Many sports have specific equipment designed to prevent injuries. Be sure to don your gear before playing with the necessary equipment and check that it fits well.
Depending on your sport, the necessary safety equipment might include:
- Mouth guards
- Protective athletic cups
Even if your sport doesn’t require any padding or helmets, make sure your shoes or cleats fit correctly and are comfortably broken in.
No matter your level of athleticism, learning about your body and its needs in relation to your sport can help you avoid significant injuries like fractures, dislocations, and sprains. Schedule a consultation over the phone or online at Orthopaedic Surgical Consultants today.