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4 Easy Ways You Can Prevent a Sports Injury

African American Parents WIth Boy Son Riding BikePlaying sports can be fun and exciting, especially if you’re a competitive person. It helps burn fat and releases endorphins, or “happy chemicals,” which make you feel good. To help prevent injury, you should always do the following:

1.  Wear Protective Gear

Always remember before you participate in a sport to wear the proper protective gear (i.e. helmet, mouth guard, pads) for that activity. Protective gear, when used properly, will help guard against risks and even help save lives.

2.  Warm-Up/Cool-down

A good 5-10 minute warm-up before play is important to help you avoid injuries such as sprains and strains. It will also get your cardiovascular system going in order to:

  • increase blood flow to your muscles
  • raise your body temperature
  • warm-up and loosen stiff muscles
  • build elasticity
  • improve performance
  • lubricate the joints

Stretching is also important after a warm-up or cool-down. It helps increase flexibility, reduce risk of joint/muscle/tendon injury, and reduce fatigued muscle cramping or soreness. Stretching even provides mental and physical relaxation.

At the end of your activity cool down to help reduce stiffness, return your heart rate and blood flow to normal, and relax your muscles.

3.  Proper Technique

Proper exercise technique helps decrease the risk of injury.

Keep your balance. For example, when using free weights lift with your legs, not your back, to prevent injury. Do not lift more weight than you are able to.

Always properly breathe during exercise. If you hold your breath, it could elevate your blood pressure to a dangerously high level.

4.  Resting and Recovery

After an activity, depending on the intensity, you may need 1-3 days of rest so that your muscles can repair and rebuild. To prevent a longer recovery time or inability to recover, never overexert or exercise injured. Listen to your body, and respond to how you feel.

Written by: Jamacia Magee, FizzNiche Staff Writer

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