Every person that exercises fears getting that dreaded injury. Every beginner that is new to exercise has an overriding fear of getting an injury when they finally have the motivation to start a new adventure in exercise. As a coach, it is a main responsibility to make sure that everyone from a beginner to an athlete is safe from the injury that is going to take them away from their main goal. Here are some tips and suggestions on how to keep the body going without it breaking down in the end.
- Visit a personal trainer or get a coach . If you don’t know how to start an exercise program or progress to that next level of anaerobic/aerobic exertion safely, a personal trainer or coach is the perfect option. They can give you safety tips and progressions to either get you started or accomplish your goal without getting injured.
- Warm up . It is never a good idea to workout muscles that are cold. Make sure you are warming up your body to increase your body’s core temperature, blood flow to the working muscles, and also to mentally prepare yourself for the workout ahead.
- Cross Train . Your body will thank you when you change up your routine by engaging in different activities. This will not only help you avoid hitting a plateau with your workouts, it will give your muscles a much needed break from the same routine day in and day out. Plus, not only will your body benefit from diversifying your exercise routine, but so will your metabolism. Studies show that switching up your daily exercises can rev up your fat-burning.
- Be smart about your training . Just because you could do a specific exercise 10 or 20 years ago, doesn’t mean you can exercise with the same speed and energy today. Be realistic about your training and not focus on what you use to do. “Too much, too soon” can be the number one reason why injuries occur. Gradually increase your time and the intensity of your workouts to prevent those nagging injuries.
- Wear proper workout attire. If you have to think about how long ago you purchased a new pair of running shoes, then it is definitely time to head to the store. Going to a specialty store for expert advice on what shoes you should be wearing is the first step because they can gauge what shoe fits best with your arch, gait and body weight. So many injuries come from wearing worn out shoes without any support. Your poor feet!
- Eat a balanced diet and hydrate. What you eat and drink is just as important as your workout. Not only will carbohydrates give you energy for your workout, they will replenish those glycogen stores for your recovery and for the next workout. Protein after your workout is just as important as this will help repair those muscles you just broke down. Work with a sports nutritionist to understand when, how much, and what foods you should be eating to keep you healthy and energized for your workouts.
- Add strength training and core work to your routine. Having a strong fit body is a great way to keep the injuries away. If your muscles are balanced with a strong core then your body will not wear down or have to compensate for being weak or tight.
- Listen to your body with rest and recovery. Your body will give you the signals you need to know when to back off. If that knee is feeling a little achy, your soreness lasts for more than the recommended 24 to 48 hours, or you are just plain tired, then it is time to look over your exercise routine. Rest and recovery might be what your body is looking for. Make sure you take those rest days as your body is making actual gains during this time.
Now that you have a plan of action on how to exercise without getting injured, have a safe, fun workout. Then take a few rest days for all of your accomplishments.
Note: Consult a physician before starting a new exercise routine.
Whether you play sports for competition or fitness, you don’t want to be sidelined with an injury. Time away from the game or in forced inactivity is something we all want to avoid. While it is impossible to prevent every injury, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says research suggests that injury rates could be reduced by 25% if athletes took appropriate preventative action. Use these general rules for injury prevention no matter what sport you play.
Be in Proper Physical Condition to Play a Sport
Keep in mind the weekend warrior has a high rate of injury. If you play any sports, you should adequately train for that sport. It is a mistake to expect the sport itself to get you into shape. Many injuries can be prevented by following a regular conditioning program of exercises designed specifically for your sport.
Know and Abide by the Rules of the Sport
The rules are designed, in part, to keep things safe. This is extremely important for anyone who participates in a contact sport. You need to learn them and to play by the rules of conduct. Respect the rules on illegal procedures and insist on enforcement by referees, umpires, and judges. These rules are there to keep athletes healthy. Know them. Follow them.
Wear Appropriate Protective Gear and Equipment
Protective pads, mouth guards, helmets, gloves, and other equipment are not for those you consider weak; they are for everyone. Protective equipment that fits you well can save your knees, hands, teeth, eyes, and head. Never play without your safety gear.
Athletes with a high number of consecutive days of training, have more injuries. While many athletes think the more they train, the better they’ll play, this is a misconception. Rest is a critical component of proper training. Rest can make you stronger and prevent injuries of overuse, fatigue and poor judgment.
Always Warm-Up Before Playing
Warm muscles are less susceptible to injuries. The proper warm-up is essential for injury prevention. Make sure your warm-up suits your sport. You may simply start your sport slowly, or practice specific stretching or mental rehearsal depending upon your activity.
Avoid Playing When Very Tired or in Pain
This is a set-up for a careless injury. Pain indicates a problem. You need to pay attention to warning signs your body provides.
Factors That Increase Your Risk of Sport Injuries
Research provides us with helpful clues about the cause of sports injury. There are two factors that outweigh the rest when it comes to predicting a sports injury. They are:
Simple rules for hitting the ground as softly as possible
by Michael Zimmerman, AARP The Magazine, November 28, 2017 | Comments: 0
It was nearly 30 years ago that Mrs. Fletcher from the LifeCall commercials first uttered her plaintive cry: “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!”
Back then, it was campy and funny. But in the intervening years, chances are that you, and perhaps some of your loved ones, have taken some nasty spills. It’s not just the elderly, though, who end up on the ground.
A study in the Journal of Allied Health showed that 50- to 60-year-olds fall more than older folks. We’re more active, and that puts us more at risk of falling. Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that people are more likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury from falling than from any other cause.
And we’re all going to fall down: The world is full of banana peels. So while avoiding a fall is job one, knowing how to take a fall when it’s inevitable is a crucial skill.
“Be smooth, don’t panic, stay loose,” says Alexa Marcigliano, who is really good at falling down. A professional stuntwoman, she’s taken serious spills in shows such as Orange Is the New Black and Blindspot. Here’s her four-point plan for a safe crash landing.
Step 1: Stay bent
The moment you sense you’ve lost your balance, get ready to fall with bent elbows and knees. “When people panic, they become rigid,” Marcigliano says. “In the stunt world, we never reach out with locked arms. Bend your elbows and have some give in your arms to soften the impact.” When you’re rigid, you’re more likely to suffer a set of injuries called FOOSH — doctor speak for “Fall on outstretched hand.” The result is often a broken wrist or elbow.
Step 2: Protect your head
If you’re falling forward, be sure to turn your face to the side. Falling backward? “Tuck your chin to your chest so your head doesn’t hit the ground,” Marcigliano advises.
Step 3: Land on the meat
“One of the things we try for in stunt falls is landing on meaty parts of your body — the muscles in your back, butt or thighs. Not bone.” If you keep your knees and elbows bent and look to land on muscle, you’ll be less likely to crack your elbows, knees, tailbone or hips.
Step 4: Keep falling
Your instinct will be to stop your body as quickly as you can. But your safest route is to keep rolling — indeed, the more you give in to the fall, the safer it will be. “Spread the impact across a larger part of your body; don’t concentrate impact on one area,” Marcigliano says. The more you roll with the fall, the safer you will be.
“In stunts, we do something called slapping out,” Marcigliano notes. “As you fall, let your body roll, and extend your arm palm-down, to slap the ground and stop yourself.
Before the fall
While you can’t prevent all slips, there’s plenty you can do to improve your footing.
- Be here now.Practice “mindfulness” — focus on the present and be aware of your surroundings, instead of being lost in your thoughts.
- Fix your blind spots. If you can’t see it, you can’t avoid tripping over it. Have your eyesight and eyeglasses checked regularly.
- Boost your balance. Stand with your feet together. Raise one foot an inch; hold for 30 seconds. Do this for 10 reps. Repeat with your other foot.
Last update: 12 August, 2019
Whenever we start working out, it’s inevitable that we’re exposed to a greater risk of different ailments. They don’t necessarily have to be serious; as a matter of fact , they usually heal within a few days . Learn about the most common injuries for athletes in this article .
Even though sports are always linked with a higher risk of injuries , it’s always possible to reduce that risk with prevention and by using the proper techniques. Also , it’s undoubtedly better to take that risk of injury than to expose ourselves to the risk that comes along with a sedentary lifestyle. In the following paragraphs, we’ll list the five most common injuries and general measures you can take to avoid them.
The most common injuries
Some injuries are more common than others, and we tend to experience them more frequently. They’ re usually mild injuries that don’t keep us from doing sports for a long time. But it’s still important to pay attention because they can evolve into more complex and serious conditions .
However, other injuries can be more severe. For this reason , we should avoid them at all costs by planning our training routines correctly.
1. Overload injury
This is the most common type of injury that we can suffer from . It happens when we put our muscles through an overly intense effort, something for which they’re not prepared .
When we experience an overload injury , we feel a pain that’s similar to what we experience with muscle soreness. It’s also normal to lose some mobility if the injury affects certain areas of your body , such as the neck . These injuries usually disappear by themselves with a few days of rest. You can also take analgesics to alleviate the pain .
Sprains are also some of the most common injuries. An ankle sprain usually happens with runners and in sports such as soccer and basketball . They’re usually caused by rough and quick movements in which our feet don’t land correctly on the floor. This produces a stretch or tears in the ligaments of the joint . There are several sprain grades, depending on how damaged the ligament is .
It’s also possible to sprain your wrists , but these types of sprains usually happen due to falls or trauma . To treat a sprain , you’ll need to stop all physical activity for a few weeks and immobilize the joint so that it heals correctly.
This happens when a bone comes out of its joint due to an over-extension . These injuries usually affect joints such as the knees , shoulders or elbows .
Dislocations require urgent treatment. A doctor must put the bone back in its place manually. It may be a painful procedure, but it’l l prevent us from losing joint mobility in the future . After our bone is back where it belongs , we must keep the area immobile for a few weeks or even months . You can take analgesics to alleviate the pain .
4. Fractures , some of the most common and severe injuries
Fractures usually occur due to continuous stress or trauma . Greenstick fractures are a special kind of fracture in which the edges of the bones don’t separate, instead, the bone experiences cracks or erosions on its surface .
The treatment for these injuries will greatly depend on the type of fracture and how severe it is . Very serious fractures in which the bone completely separates will probably require treatment from an orthopedic surgeon.
5. Torn muscles
A rupture of the muscle fibers (or muscle tear) happens after a very intense effort for the muscle . Minimal or moderate efforts can also cause a muscle tear in people with sedentary lifestyles.
The main characteristics of muscle tears are the localized pain and reduced contraction ability they cause. After a few days , muscle tears can also cause bruises in the area . Depending on where the muscle tear is and how many fibers it affects , the needed rest period may vary .
How can we avoid the most common injuries ?
Injury prevention is a huge part of sports medicine, which is why we won’t dwell on specific measures to avoid them . Instead , we ‘ll talk about habits that we should always keep in mind when doing sports :
- It’s very important to warm up our joints and muscles properly, before practicing any physical activity.
- We should give our bodies proper recovery periods after our training sessions. To ensure this, we’ll require a balanced dietand the necessary hours of sleep during the night .
- It’ s a good idea to avoid taking unnecessary risks when training, such as taking your body to its limits too often.
- Learn to recognize when your body is severely fatigued so you can stop whatever you ‘re doing . This will help to prevent further damage.
Finally , we also recommend reading about the most common injuries that are specific to the sport you practice ; be up to date with the best ways to prevent and treat them. This will help with the technical aspects that are the most important when preventing injuries , such as the right stepping technique for a runner or lifting techniques for a weightlifter.
Have you ever been injured? If yes, have you ever thought what you did wrong and was there any chance to prevent injuries?
Athletes, whether professionals or amateurs, should treat their bodies as a tool that needs care and attention.
In this article, you will find:
Causes of sports injuries
In sports, there are many different types of injuries and so are the causes.
Usually, there are two types of injury causes: acute and chronic injuries.
When it comes to acute injury, the failure factor can also play a role. For example, in basketball and football and contact sports in general, trauma can occur for reasons beyond your control when an opponent tackles you.
There are also chronic overload injuries where there is no direct trauma. But the pain eventually develops into an injury that begins to prevent your athletic performance.
Pain always comes with a cause. The initial reason is that muscles are required more than they can withstand. If this limit is shifted, the injury will develop into an inflammation that will need further treatment.
Injury types with examples
Injuries can often occur of athletes’ inattention to their bodies. For example overtraining, fatigue, lack of correct warm-up/cooldown, no recovery time and overall not listening to your body.
Sports injuries in different fields of sports
When comparing sports injuries, traumas of the lower limbs are the most common. The number of knee and ankle joint injuries are the highest.
Muscle and ligament injuries are the most common of all sports injuries in weightlifting, track, and field and gymnastics.
Stretched ligaments and tears are frequent in wrestling, track, and fields, team sports and boxing.
Fractures are more common in hockey, boxing, downhill skiing, and football.
According to Insurance Information Institute basketball is the “leading” sport with the highest number of injuries per year in the USA.
Number of sports injuries in the USA
How to prevent injuries in sports?
Honest answer: Well, you never can be 100% sure to prevent an injury! Injuries might happen in a time when you are least expecting them. However, injuries can be prevented!
Keep in mind these tips that might help you to prevent injuries. Trust me, your body will thank you
1. Make correct warm-up
Properly performed warm-up ensures a better quality of training and reduces the risk of sports injuries.
Do dynamic exercises. For example hip circles, lunges, push-ups, different body rotations. Your main goal is to increase body temperature.
Your body is like plasticine. Warm plasticine is more elastic and won’t break so easily. So are the muscles after warm-up as well.
Static stretches are not ideal for a warm-up. Use static stretches after practice as part of a cool down.
NB! Make sure to pay extra attention to your joints or muscles where you feel pain or stiffness.
2. Don’t overtrain
Overtraining can cause stress to your body. Don’t increase your exercise intensity too fast or push your body to the limit.
If you feel exhausted, then skip heavy practice and make dynamic stretches instead.
3. Start slowly
Don’t rush to start immediately with exercises. Start easily by warming up your muscles. Increase intensity step-by-step.
Make your first movements easily and controlled. Feel your body, whether it needs longer preparation or no for maximizing performance.
4. Watch your technique – don’t play hero with heavyweights!
Prefer quality over quantity. For example, 3-4 reps with excellent technique may have a better impact on your body rather than 10 reps with sloppy techniques. Ask your fitness coach to check your technique.
Also, don’t try to jump over your shadow. Use the weights you can manage!
5. Stay hydrated
Don’t forget to drink water or electrolyte drinks during your practice. Keep your body hydrated. Drinking fluids bring oxygen to body cells which is essential to avoid cramps.
Dehydration can lead to reduced energy, heat cramps, overheating body, dryness of mouth and throat and much more.
6. Know when to stop
Feeling exhausted and your technique is breaking down? The right time to stop the exercise!
Making extra reps can lead to really serious injuries you don’t want to see in your worst nightmare!
7. Keep an eye on your nutrition
You might be wondering, but the right nutrition can reduce the risk of getting injured. Eat enough and include a variety of healthy nutrients and supplements to your diet.
Avoid a catabolic state! It means that your muscles begin eating themselves. You don’t want to play this game with your muscles.
8. Don’t forget about resting and recovery process
Give your body time to rest. Resting is also an important part of an athlete’s performance development. Rest at least 1-2 times per week.
Sleep around 8 hours. Sleep supports muscle growth as well.
9. Mixed workouts
Mix-up your training programs. It is important to focus on all muscle groups.
Mixed muscle workouts help minimize or reverse body muscle imbalances which can lead to injuries.
10. Wear the right equipment
Keep an eye on your shoes when working out. Avoid ultra-thin featherweight shoes. These are mostly unsupported.
They are not suitable for training footwear. Unsupported footwear is one of the causes of tendon and ligament attachment overload and cartilage overload injuries.
11. Stop when you feel pain
Stop immediately if you feel discomfort or pain in your body. It’s the sign that something is wrong with your body.
No need to play hero, seriously!
12. Train smart, not hard
Focus on exercises that your body needs. No need to lift heavy weights if your body is exhausted. Our bodies are different. Know your limits!
If your body has weak sides, approach and focus on this spot more carefully.
13. Cool down after the workout
Cooldown is as important as the warm-up. It helps to recover your muscles after the workout. Stretch carefully throughout your body.
Focus on breathing. Don’t hold your breath while stretching. Deep, slow and full breathing creates relaxation effects.
You should treat your body as a tool that needs care and attention. Pain and injuries are to some extent part of sports.
Almost every athlete feels some twists or bumps over time but when injuries start to restrict exercise, daily activities, something should be done as soon as possible to treat them. Also, there’s a way you can reduce the risk of getting injured.
Use our given tips on how to prevent injuries and most importantly – listen to your body and your body will appreciate it!
If you’re a runner, you know that hitting the pavement can take a heavy toll on your body. From runner’s knee to shin splints, an injury can sabotage your training or worse — it can take you out during the first leg of a competition for which you’ve spent months training.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy
But you can help stack the odds in your favor. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, here are six things you can do to help minimize your chances of getting hurt.
1. Wear proper footwear
Before you even hit the pavement or track, boost your confidence with the right running shoes.
Your foot should fit snug in the heel, with a little wiggle room around your toes, says exercise physiologist Christopher Travers, MS. To guarantee the best fit, get a proper fitting at a specialty running store and wear your usual running socks when you go.
But it’s not enough to buy the right shoes. You also need to maintain them properly. “We recommend replacing your shoes every 400 to 600 miles, or about every six months if you run regularly,” Travers says.
2. Flex your muscles
One of the best ways to prevent an injury is to keep your body loose and limber. To do this, add flexibility exercises into your routine.
“The more flexible your body is, the more range of motion you have and the less injury-prone you become,” Travers says.
Yoga is a great way to improve your flexibility. It can enhance your balance and flexibility, and leave you feeling calmer and more mentally focused.
3. Hit the gym
The stronger your muscles are, the less likely they will break down. Strength training can help you increase muscle tone, strength, endurance and bone density.
Lift when your schedule can accommodate it. Ideally, you can work with weights at the gym or at home one day and run the next day.
4. Listen to your body
No one knows your body better than you do. If you’re feeling sluggish or run down, it’s best to skip training that day. Or you may need to reduce the time or distance you were originally planning to run.
Rest is also critical. Take time off from running each week to help avoid injuries and fatigue that can occur when you push too hard.
5. Build strength and endurance gradually
Always take it slow when you’re starting out. If you’re training for a 5K, you’re not going to run that distance on your first day of training. Start with shorter runs and gradually increase your distance over the course of several weeks.
Another important tip: Never increase distance and intensity during the same week.
6. Talk to your doctor
Finally, before you start your training, check in with your doctor. “He or she may have some injury prevention suggestions and can address any possible limitations you might have,” Travers says.
Implementing these tips can help make you a stronger runner and empower you to achieve your goals, no matter how ambitious they are.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy
“Sports injuries generally occur for two different reasons: trauma and overuse,” says Dr. Andrew Cosgarea, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine expert. “And while traumatic sports injuries are usually obvious, dramatic scenes, like when we see a player fall down clutching their knee,” continues Cosgarea, who is also the head team physician for Johns Hopkins University Department of Athletics, “overuse injuries are actually more common.”
Overuse injuries often occur when the body is pushed past its current physical limits or level of conditioning — but poor technique and training errors, such as running excessive distances or performing inadequate warm-ups, frequently contribute. To help keep you or your young athlete from experiencing a sports-related injury, Cosgarea provides the following prevention tips:
Set realistic goals.
“I am a strong advocate for setting goals and working hard to achieve them,” Cosgarea says, “but it is crucial that our goals are realistic, achievable and sustainable.” Whether your goal is to swim more laps, lift a certain amount of weight or run a specific distance, set an obtainable goal and gradually work to improve.
Plan and prepare.
If you plan to begin exercising regularly or want to begin a new program, you should meet with your primary care provider first and discuss your options. Also, take the time to learn the proper techniques required for your sport or program. Working with a personal trainer or signing up for a class are often safe and enjoyable ways to start a new activity, Cosgarea suggests.
Warm up and cool down.
It is important to warm up before physical activity because research has shown that a heated muscle is less likely to be strained. To accomplish this, Cosgarea recommends some light walking or jogging before you start your exercise and then again afterward to help your muscles cool down slowly. Another important way to prevent injury is to increase your flexibility. This can be done by stretching before and after a workout, Cosgarea suggests, but it is best to do so once the body is already warm.
Take your time.
Don’t push yourself too hard too fast. Getting in shape or learning a new sport takes time. “We need to allow for adequate time to gradually increase training levels so that our bodies have time to adjust to the stresses on our bones, joints and muscles,” Cosgarea says. For instance, when running, increase mileage gradually and give yourself plenty of time to recover between workouts.
Listen to your body.
Adjust your activities if your body is showing signs of too much stress. “While a mild and short-lived muscle ache is generally considered ‘good pain,’ pain in your joints is not normal and is a sign that you should cut back,” Cosgarea warns.
More than half of all runners deal with at least one injury per year. There’s really no good reason for this phenomenon. But it’s constant, mostly because runners don’t train intelligently or they follow programs that are faulty in design.
Injuries happen because the physical stress from running is too much for your body to handle at that time. The human body is great at adapting to stress, but only when you apply that stress in small doses. When you apply the stress too quickly for your body to adapt, something breaks down.
Every time your foot lands on the ground, your leg absorbs two to three times your body weight. Multiply that by the number of steps you take to run five miles, and multiply that by how many times you run each week, and you can see how much stress your legs have to deal with to be a runner.
The main predictors of running injuries are:
Mileage: How many miles you run per week is the greatest predictor of injury risk. It’s hard to say exactly how many miles per week increases the risk of injury because that’s an individual matter. You may be able to handle 50 miles per week and your running partner may get injured with 30. Some runners (called Olympians) can run more than 100 miles per week and not get injured. On average, the risk of getting injured is two to three times greater when running at least 40 miles per week.
Previous injury: If you’ve had an injury in the past, you’re at an increased risk for another one. A previous injury makes that body part more vulnerable.
Lack of running experience: If you’re a new runner, you have a greater risk for injuries because you’re not yet used to the stress of running.
So, do you want to stop getting injured? Follow these seven training secrets:
1. Train smart.
To train smart, train at more effective levels of effort to get the best results. The goal of training is to obtain the greatest benefit while incurring the least amount of stress. That means you want to run as slow as you can while still meeting the purpose of the workout and obtaining the desired result. Follow a systematic and progressive training plan, with each cycle of training building on what came before to create a seamless and safe program. Better yet, consult a coach to get a training program customized for you.
2. Increase your weekly running mileage very slowly and spread it out over the whole week.
How quickly you increase your weekly mileage probably has the greatest impact on whether you get injured. The slower you increase your weekly mileage, the less chance you’ll get injured.
When you increase your mileage, add only about a mile per day of running so that you spread the stress around. For example, if you run 20 miles over four days in a week, run no more than 24 miles next week by adding one mile to each of the four days. Don’t run 24 miles next week by adding all four miles to only one day of running.
Many books and articles quote the 10 percent rule of increasing mileage, but there’s nothing special about 10 percent, and you can often increase by more than that if you’re smart about how you do it.
If you’re a highly trained runner, you may be able to get away with adding more miles more quickly, especially if you have experience running longer distances. For example, if you’ve run 60 miles per week in the recent past and now you’re training for your fifth marathon and building your mileage, you don’t necessarily have to go from 40 to 45 to 50 to 55 to 60 miles per week over a couple of months. You may be able to make bigger jumps in mileage because your legs already have experience running 60 miles per week. However, if 60 miles per week is brand new territory for you, then you need to increase your mileage in smaller increments. If you’re a new runner, an older runner or are prone to injury, run the same mileage for three to four weeks before increasing it.