Common Sports Injury Prevention

March 10, 2009


Like most active sports enthusiasts, you undoubtedly want to lower your chance of injury while participating in your favorite sport. Injuries decrease the amount of time you can spend in leisure activities, lower your fitness level, downgrade competitive performance, and can lead to long term health problems such as arthritis.

There are some general rules for injury avoidance which apply to all sports. Sports scientists suggest that injury rates could be reduced by 25% if athletes took appropriate preventative action.

The best predictors of injury

Always warm up before you begin training! I can not stress this enough. A through warm up is necessary to help prevent injury as well as invoke maximum effort from your body. Your warm up should include 15 min. of light stretching and gradual movement similar to the training you are about to engage in. Consistent through Warm ups and Cool downs will reduce your risk of injury.

Don’t Overdo it

The amount of training you carry out plays a key role in determining your real injury risk Studies have shown that your best direct injury predictor may be the amount of training you completed last month. Fatigued muscles do a poor job of protecting their associated connective tissues, increasing the risk of damage to bone, cartilage, tendons and ligaments. If you are a runner, the link between training quantity and injury means that the total mileage is an excellent indicator of your injury risk. The more miles you accrue per week, the higher the chances of injury. One recent investigation found a marked upswing in injury risk above 40 miles of running per week.

Weak Muscles

Many injuries are caused by weak muscles which simply are not ready to handle the specific demands of the sport you choose to participate in. This is why people who start a running program for the first time often do well for a few weeks but then suddenly develop foot, ankle or knee problems, hamstring soreness or perhaps lower back pain. Their bodies simply are not strong enough to cope with the demands of the increased training load. For this reason, it is always wise to couple resistance training with regular training.

Resistance Training

Resistance training can strengthen muscles and make them less susceptible to damage, especially if the strength building exercises involve movements that are similar to those associated with the sport. Time should be devoted to developing the muscle groups appropriate to the demands of your sport.

Injury Prevention Tips

1. Avoid training when you are tired or fatigued
2. Treat even seemingly minor injuries very carefully to prevent them becoming a big problem
3. If you experience pain when training STOP you training session immediately
4. Never train hard if you are stiff from the previous effort
5. Introduce new activities very gradually
6. Allow lots of time for warming up and cooling off
7. Check over training and competition courses beforehand
8. Stay away from infectious areas when training or competing very hard

About the Author:

Victoria Johnson is the nation’s premier Health & Fitness and Wealth & Spirit “activist.” Victoria is the owner and president of Victoria Johnson Intl., a personal training, consulting, marketing and management company. She is not only a fitness guru, she’s a born and bred entrepreneur. She believes everyone should be healthy and prosperous. She has produced and starred in over 24 award-winning exercise and dance fitness DVD’s and videos, produced and starred in her own television show entitled “Victoria’s Body Shoppe” and most recently authored her third book, Body Revival, Lose Weight, Feel Great and Pump Up Your Faith! 

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