Australians love their sports, with about 13 million adults and 3 million children participating in some form of sport or active recreation every year. Sports provide many positive physical, mental, and social benefits to the individual and society as a whole, but there are also risks involved. The years 2019–20 saw around 50,000 Australians hospitalised for sports related injuries, with an average of 65 deaths resulting, a sad statistic indeed.
Help Is Available
Despite those unfortunate figures, participating in sports is still definitely a positive undertaking, with the benefits outweighing the risks. People can avoid injuries by taking the proper precautions, which we will outline below, and if you should be unfortunate enough to suffer a sports related injury, there is high quality help available, for example the highly trained and talented staff at the Medical Centre in Campsie can provide you with all the expert care you need to achieve a full recovery, and get you back out on the play field where you belong!
It isn’t always possible to prevent a sports injury, but many of the common ones are the result of a lack of appropriate safety gear, overdoing one’s training, or not achieving correct form. Preparing oneself for the rigours of their sport’s physical activity can prevent a lot of pain and suffering, let’s look at some methods to stay safe and healthy!
- Warm Up and Cool Down – Some simple exercises like star jumps increase your body temperature and heart rate, which causes your muscles to be more flexible and injury resistant. After your event cool down with some forward/backward arm swings and side-to-side trunk rotations with arms extended outward, these will help your body return to its resting state and prevent cramping. If you tend to cramp easily, try eating some bananas, the potassium in them really helps!
- Stretching Out – Stretching helps us extend our range of motion and flexibility, as well as increasing blood flow to those hard-working muscles. Dynamic stretching exercises involving movement are great for helping warm up before the activity, followed by static stretching afterwards, where you stand basically still and hold the poses for around 30 seconds, which helps you cool down.
- Staying Hydrated – Athletes need to make sure they are getting enough fluid intake at all times, and this becomes critical in hot weather when fluids are lost even faster. To remain well hydrated during your activity you should drink around 600 ml of water beforehand, and 300ml after the session ends.
- Using Proper Form – This is a very important step to prevent sports injuries. Learning proper form allows you to move more efficiently, which improves performance, and gives you a full range of motion which reduces stress on your muscles and joints. Proper form allows us to engage in heavy exertion safely so we don’t get hurt as easily!
Sports injuries are always possible, but with care we can prevent them. Play safe and have fun!