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October 24, 2010 at 1:00 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Play Sports, Play Safe

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Sports are a popular way to be active and have fun. They can be challenging and competitive while increasing strength, endurance, and mobility. Although sports have countless benefits, certain risks are also associated with them. When you participate in any sport, it is important to protect yourself against accidents or injuries. Fortunately, the precautions that need to be taken are very simple, yet it is surprising how many people ignore them. Athletes of all levels experience injuries, so no matter how long you have been playing, these tips are worth following.

Stretching

No physical activity should be attempted without preparing your muscles or joints first. During a workout or sports game, your body is expected to perform at a level of intensity for a given amount of time. Since, you are not normally moving that much or in the same way for a majority of the day, it is necessary to warm up before starting the activity. Stretching is easy and fast. It will only take approximately 5 minutes to go through a few exercises that will improve flexibility and blood flow. For the best stretches that coordinate with your favorite sport, consult with your physician, coach, or trainer. You can also do general stretching routines designed to prepare all of the major muscle groups.

Baseball Safety

In baseball, a number of simple steps can prevent major injuries or setbacks. Overdoing throwing or pitching is a quick way to injure your arm and shoulder. Try not to pitch for excessive lengths of time and pay attention to how your arm is responding. At the first sign of pain, stop immediately and rest, or apply ice if needed. Wearing the proper equipment is essential to staying safe while playing baseball. A catcher should always wear a mask, helmet, guards, and chest protector, and use a glove. Likewise, batters need to also wear their helmets. Inspect the field and bases for any defects and inconsistencies. When running on a baseball field, use molded shoes with cleats or a shoe that is made especially for the game.

Football Safety

As with baseball, football players should wear the required protective gear: helmets, shoulder pads, supporters, and mouth guards. Remember that football is a full contact sport, unless you are playing touch or flag football, so be prepared to do a lot of running and take a lot of hits. The sport of football can only be played on a soft surface, not on asphalt or concrete. Make sure that the playing area is even and the grass provides enough cushion for landings.

Basketball Safety

Running is a big part of basketball. Prepare your legs and wear the proper shoes. Socks can absorb perspiration and provide support to your feet. Look at the court where you are playing and check for any loose gravel, rocks, glass, etc. Although baseball, football, and basketball are three major sports, there are many others that require safety precautions. In general, drink plenty of water on hot days to protect against dehydration. Dress appropriately on warmer days and always be receptive to the signs your body is giving. Pain should not be part of any sports activity. Again, consult with a doctor or professional to learn more about the safety measures that are necessary for your favorite sport.

Sources: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/sportssafety.html

http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00134

http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00113

http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00177

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