If you’re an athlete or you work out regularly, it’s important to know how to avoid hurting yourself. Injuries will prevent you from staying active while you heal and can have lasting effects on your body. Here are five tips for avoiding a sports injury from the team of physiotherapy experts at Ottawa-Carleton Physiotherapy & Sports Medicine Center.
1. Take time off
While working out every day may seem necessary to stay in top shape, it’s actually bad for your body. Rest is an important part of proper training and helps make you stronger. Working out while your body is fatigued also increases your chances of injuring yourself. Rest for at least one day a week to allow your body to relax and heal.
Stretching will increase your range of motion, reduce soreness after a workout and keep your joints loose. But, be careful. Stretching your muscles when they’re cold can increase the risk of pulling or tearing them, so wait until you’ve warmed up or after your workout.
3. Strengthen your muscles
Every muscle in your body is important, not just the ones you use for your particular sport. The stronger your body is overall, the less likely you are to get hurt. Even if you’re not an athlete, strength training can help you stay healthy and avoid pain.
4. Warm up
Warm muscles are less likely to be injured. Start all workouts with a warm-up routine that gradually gets your body ready for exertion. Jogging or riding a bike for five to 15 minutes is all you need to get your muscles and heart ready for a more intense training session. You can also include dynamic stretches like leg swings and walking lunges.
5. Stop if you’re in pain
One of the most common mistakes we see people make is to continue to work out when they’re in pain or they’ve been injured. If you’ve been injured or you feel pain that doesn’t go away when you stop exercising, something’s wrong. Take a break and get some rest. If the pain persists, see your physiotherapist to find out what’s wrong and how to fix it.
Trusted sport medicine in Ottawa
If you’ve suffered from a sports injury or you want to know how to avoid hurting yourself, come see a sport medicine professional at Ottawa-Carleton Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Center. Call us today to make an appointment.