According to the website Kidshealth.org, thousands of kids sprain, fracture, or dislocate a knee every year. The cause of a knee injury can be anything from typical kid’s play to sports related and can be as mild as a sprain that needs rest and a short heal time, to a more serious injury that requires surgery and a longer time to heal.Read More >
If you’re a seasoned athlete or participating in sports for the first time you’ve probably been told that it’s important to do a pre- and post-exercise stretch, but never why. Stretching is very important to avoid sports injuries. Don’t think you’ll have time to implement stretching? You only need 5-10 minutes total, for both pre- and post-exercise stretching.
There are studies and people who do not see the importance of stretching before exercise. They believe that (static) stretching before you lift weights can make you feel weak and unstable during workout. “Still, rather than abandon stretching altogether, recent trends suggest that a technique called “active isolated stretching” might protect athletes from injuries better than traditional bend-and-hold techniques.”
Proper stretching gives you flexibility by increasing the length of your muscles and tendons. It helps you increase your range of movement, which will allow your limbs and joints the ability to move further before an injury occurs. Another benefit of regular stretching is that it helps prevent muscular imbalance. During exercise many people focus more on one side of the body which causes muscles to overcompensate for others. Regular stretching helps lengthen any tight and overused muscles, while strengthening the underused ones.
During stretching remember to:
- Never use bouncing motions during stretching to avoid a strain or muscle damage. Instead, take your time and move slowly from one body part to the other.
- Hold your stretch position for at least 30 seconds to one minute. The longer you hold the stretch the more your body and muscles will benefit.
- Be sure to stretch all of your body parts from head to toe but do not overstretch because that can cause injury.
At the end of your activity remember to cool down to help reduce stiffness, return your heart rate and blood flow to normal and relax your muscles.
Jamacia Magee, Rust Built, Marketing Services
- Mattes, A. 2013, April 3). A good reason to skip your pre-workout stretch. Retrieved from
Medical Disclaimer: Be sure to check with your physician before starting a new exercise routine or if you have any health care-related questions.
We all start off our new fitness plan with enthusiasm. In your mental rush, you yank on those unfamiliar exercise duds and head out to your preferred mode of sweating. For me that’s tennis, hands-down.
I’m pumped up, feeling pretty good about myself. But, after a few heated rallies with the guy or gal who’s been playing all along (instead of beginning again, for the ump-teenth time), I run like crazy to get that drop-shot, and bam…what was that fiery pain in my calf? The next day I’m limping and cringing.
All too often, we let a mindless jaunt of “getting back into exercise” result in a sports injury- a pulled muscle, tendon or sprain. How the heck are you going to keep it up after the “first burst” if you injure yourself right off the bat? I’ve learned from hard-earned personal experience six ways to avoid injuring yourself– before you have the chance to enjoy yourself.
1. Hydrate To Avoid Sports Injuries
Drink, drink, drink. Water, that is. Several hours before your workout.
2. Stretch After Your Muscles Have Warmed Up
To avoid sports injuries, give your muscles a little work out before stretching. A few minutes of regular walking; light, soft, short hitting- just to warm up those sleepy muscles. Then give them a gentle stretch. Place your heel behind you in a small lunge to stretch your Achilles tendon, then moving it back to enlongate the thigh muscle. Then allow it up by going into a full lunge to open up the hip joint. Bend over from the waist with your knees in “soft” position (not locked back) and move slowly toward the ground. Never bounce. Never stretch cold muscles.
3. Start Slowly To Avoid Sports Injuries
Be a wimp those first five minutes. Warming your muscles and stretching them properly builds a foundation for better performance in the next hour.
4. Listen To Your Body
You can avoid sports injuries by leaving your competitive pride behind, and think of your body as a friend who needs to be listened to. Are you Iron Man? No. So be nice to your body, and you can expect it exercise for you, the next day.
5. Be Positive
We can all avoid sports injuries by thinking encouraging thoughts, even if we can’t do what we could last year. Reminding ourselves of the time we’ve wasted, only makes us feel unfit. Plus, it distracts the mind from tuning into the body. Congratulate yourself for still trying.
6. Have Fun!…
Sports injuries are not fun. There you are, with your leg up, balancing an ice bag on your ankle and begging someone to get you more ibuprofen. How fit do you feel now, limpy? Hopefully you have sympathetic family members who keep you off that sprain until it heals. Hopefully, they don’t remind you how old you’re getting or that you can’t do what you used to. Hopefully, when you went out with that “first burst” of exercise mania, you put your head on straight, thought ahead, kept it light, didn’t try to prove anything and left before you hurt yourself. If so, you can celebrate your newly-found ambitions. Avoiding sports injuries is crucial to getting back into shape.
Written by Ruby Moseley, Rust Built, Marketing Services
Playing sports can be fun and exciting especially if you’re a competitive person. It helps burn fat and you release endorphins “happy chemicals” which makes you feel good. To help prevent injury you should always do the (4) following:
Overuse injuries are a result of repetitive movement causing wear and tear to tendons, joints and bone. Pain is felt in the area due to inflammation, muscle spasm and sometimes improper joint mechanics. Examples of such are tennis elbow, runners knee, shin splints, golfers elbow and swimmers shoulder.