Athletes are humans too. They are vulnerable to injuries just like everyone else. In fact, athletes are prone to more injuries since they often compete in contact sports or high-intensity activities. So, what’s the secret? How do they maintain their physic without overworking the body or running out of fuel? The truth is one word and anyone can do it: Stretching. Stretching is one of the easiest ways to prevent a sports injury. If you want to stay healthy and avoid injuries on the field, check out these three easy exercise hacks…
1. Stretch in the morning
2. Stretch before you play
3. Cool down and stretch
The best thing about stretching is that anyone can use these exercise hacks. However, if you are recovering from a previous injury or surgery, talk to your doctor for the best exercise advice. If you are ready to build muscle, increase flexibility and prevent sports injuries, start stretching. Start in the mornings so your body becomes accustomed to a daily routine. Along with your practices and games, you’ll most likely have rest days in between. Continue to stretch every day though. Stretching is an excellent way to relax, mentally and physically.
If you stretch in the mornings, you’re off to a good start. Keep the momentum going and remember to stretch before all your practices and games. When you stretch beforehand, this gives your bones and joints a chance to loosen up. You don’t want to work out or play with stiff joints. Stiff muscles will harm your performance and increase your chance of injury. Arrive to practice a few minutes early so you can stretch on your own. If your team stretches together, that’s even better. If you do not play team sports, you still need to stretch. Your trainer or coach can warm up with you as well.
After playing your game, working out or practicing, let your body rest. Take time to cool down with a couple more exercises. You can easily injury yourself after a game too. Don’t think that sports injuries only occur as you play. Many athletes hurt themselves during practices or individual training. So, unwind with a few more poses. After your workout, a fun way to cool down is with yoga. Yoga is a popular way to warm up and cool down. If you are recovering from a sports injury, your doctor may recommend yoga classes or physical therapy to help.
In addition to building strength, flexibility and balance, stretching saves your body from sports injuries. A common sports injury is an over extension of the joints. Since athletes are running, jumping and kicking, this puts extra stress on the body. If your muscles, bones and joints are prepared for the intense activity, they can cope with the extra weight. Many athletes believe in stretching, but they honestly forget. So, make it a routine. Be accountable for your stretching and you’ll see results.
NASA Bone & Joint Specialists is one of the leading sports medicine practices in Houston, Texas. The physicians at NASA Bone & Joint are experts in sports injury prevention and physical therapy. So, if you want to learn more about avoiding sports injuries, contact our dream team of sports medicine specialists. NASA Bone & Joint operates in Houston, Texas and we are always accepting new patients.