Reduce Your Risk for Sports Injury

Our joints, bones and muscles work hard throughout a lifetime, and injury can be difficult to avoid due to accidents or age-related deterioration. However, sports injuries often can be avoided. If you take care to protect yourself while enjoying sports, you can reduce your risk for most types of sports injury—especially those due to repetitive overuse of joints, muscles or tendons, improper technique, or misuse of equipment.

To remain injury free, follow the basic rules:

  • Make sure you’re in good physical condition for the sport you want to play.
  • Take time to train properly for the specific sport.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and safety equipment (such as helmets, protective padding, mouth guards, etc.)
  • Take the time to warm up before you begin.
  • Follow the rules of the game.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink water to prevent overheating.

One of the most important rules—and one that’s easiest to break—is to give your body time to rest and recover after playing a sport. Your muscles and tissues depend on the downtime to restore themselves. Most injury is due to repetitive use and is most likely when you’ve had insufficient time to rest.

In addition, you know your own body. If you feel tired or in pain, don't force yourself to head to the soccer field or the tennis court. And give your body the advantage of stress reduction through healthful practices such as yoga, meditation, or any form of relaxation.

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