If you're wondering how to avoid sports injuries, then one of the best things you can do is practice caution. While preventing some injuries will be beyond your control, many over-use and strain-based injuries are preventable - and it's as easy as paying more attention to your body, wearing the right gear, and knowing when you've had enough.
The most common sports injuries are generally strains and sprains, which occur around the ligaments (the bands connecting bones in a joint). For example, people regularly experience knee injuries when they over-do it on the running track, or suffer shoulder damage when attempting to lift too much weight.
The following tips on how to avoid sports injuries may not be able to protect you from tripping the next time you go for a run, but they could help to reduce your risk of strains, sprains, and aching muscles.
1. Make Sure You're Prepared
A lot of the most common sports injuries occur because would-be athletes aren't prepared for the sport they're taking part in. If you're going for a run, then you need a pair of reliable shoes that can help to absorb some of the shock that's placed on your legs when your feet hit the pavement.
Similarly, if you know you have problems with your shins or calf muscles, wearing a calf-compression bandage can help to offer extra support and improve your circulation as you run - so that you are less likely to experience cramps.
2. Warm Up, then Take It Slow
Any article on how to avoid sports injuries should be able to tell you that you're less likely to get injured if you warm up before each exercise session, and build up the pace or intensity of your workout over time.
While you might be tempted to jump in head-first, warmups help to prepare your muscles for stress so that they're equipped to handle your exercise, and pacing is a great way to make sure that you stay active, without over-doing it.
3. Get Help from a Pro
If you find that you're constantly plagued by sprains every time you try to work out alone, why not take a few lessons with the guidance of a certified trainer? This will help you to ensure your body is in proper alignment when you're working out - an action which can go a long way towards preventing injury.
Getting expert advice on how to avoid sports injuries can also keep you from attempting the wrong workouts for your fitness level and body type, and assist you in moderating your routines so you don't do more than you can manage.
4. Be Realistic
The desire for a healthier lifestyle starts out simple enough, but if you let it, a kind of fitness amnesia takes over that prompts you to ignore the years that have passed since you last hit the gym. If you do too much too quickly in an attempt to get great results, the chances are you're going to end up hurting yourself, and you'll probably be less likely to try again in the future.
If you haven't exercised for some time, talk to an expert about how to get started and commit yourself to making a few, achievable goals.