How to play hard and have fun without getting hurt while engaging in sports

School is starting up again soon, and with that, athletes in a wide variety of sports will be starting their seasons with a sense of optimism that can be infectious to those around them.

It gets competitive out there, though: with scores of athletic young people trying to crack rosters or their starting lineup, the risk of injury is ever present, and it can kill dreams.

Some are due to bad luck, but many of them are completely preventable. Dr. James DeVellis has seen many cases where players could have avoided getting hurt if only they had undertook one of several best practices.

If you want to have fun and stay healthy this season, our post below will arm you with the knowledge you’ll need to stay in the lineup.

1) Make warm ups a non-negotiable part of your routine

Before playing or practicing any sport, know that it is vital to wake up your muscles before you engage in any strenuous movements related to that activity.

Before working out, starting practice, or playing in a game, start with a warm up. Stretch out your muscles and ligaments, get air flowing in your lungs, and prep key muscle groups to do some serious work.

By doing this, you’ll have the flexibility and circulatory capacity needed to not just perform at your peak, but your body will be ready to take the stress placed on it, reducing the risk of injury.

2) Get the gear that’s right for you

Hand-me-down gear from friends and family may be a tradition that keeps costs down, but it can cost you dearly if a piece doesn’t fit you the way it should.

For example, ill-fitting shoulder pads can put this body structure at risk for a rotator cuff, AC joint, or dislocation injury if a hit catches you the wrong way in football or hockey.

Take safety in sport seriously – save the money you’ll need to outfit yourself properly.

3) Be smart when it comes to working out

Athletes are always pushing the envelope – the fact that any gym worth their salt is filled with jocks in the off-season only proves this.

Sculpting a body that will allow them to dominate their competition is their aim, and they often succeed in this mission.

Many amateurs try to replicate this approach on their own or with guidance from unqualified overseers, putting them at risk for injury.

Some train in one area at the expense of another – for instance, they’ll bulk themselves up with no regard to the flexibility, which is an approach that can increase an athlete’s risk of injury.

Another problem occurs when athletes go too hard. Chasing new personal bests can be addictive, leading to a pushing of physical limits which can end with an injury that causes them to be on the sidelines at the start of the season.

This can be avoided by bringing a seasoned athletic trainer into the mix, as these professionals know how to design work out plans that balance gains with exercises that minimize the risk of injuries.