Five ways to prevent injuries

Doctor's Advice / Sanitas
Date: January 25, 2017
1
Maintain fitness
Maintain fitness
Be sure you are in good physical condition at the start of your sport season or when you begin a new exercise routine. Also, during the off-season, stick to a balanced fitness program that incorporates aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility. If you are out of shape at the start of the season, gradually increase your activity level and slowly build back up to a higher fitness level.
2
Hydrate
Hydrate
Even mild levels of dehydration can hurt athletic performance. If you have not had enough fluids, your body will not be able to effectively cool itself through sweat and evaporation. A general recommendation is to drink 24 ounces of non-caffeinated fluid 2 hours before exercise. Drinking an additional 8 ounces of water or sports drink right before exercise is also helpful. While you are exercising, break for an 8 oz. cup of water every 20 minutes.
3
Warm up and stretch
Warm up and stretch
Always take time to warm up and stretch, especially your hips, knees, thighs and calves. Research studies have shown that cold muscles are more prone to injury. Warm up with jumping jacks, stationary cycling or running or walking in place for 3 to 5 minutes. Then slowly and gently stretch, holding each stretch for 30 seconds.
4
Cool down and stretch
Cool down and stretch
Stretching at the end of practice is too often neglected because of busy schedules. Stretching can help reduce muscle soreness and keep muscles long and flexible. Be sure to stretch after you play or exercise to reduce your risk for injury.
5
Prevent overuse injuries
Prevent overuse injuries
Overuse injuries occur over time due to stress on the muscles, joints and soft tissues without proper time for healing. They begin as a small pain, and can grow into a debilitating injury if they aren't treated early. Most overuse injuries can be prevented with proper training and common sense. Learn to listen to your body. If symptoms persist, a sports medicine specialist will help you create a treatment plan for your specific condition.