Avoiding sports injuries
New Zealanders are a nation of sports lovers and playing sport is a huge part of New Zealand culture and identity.
From a very early age the large majority of us become a participant in some sport or another, and it is for many the beginning of a lifelong involvement with sport which can include playing, coaching, administration, and/or supporting.
While being involved in sport is overwhelmingly positive, one negative aspect is the risk of injuries.
Sports injuries cost the country millions of dollars every year, and while the inevitable risk of injuries are just an accepted part of sport, there are ways to help prevent yourself from becoming
a sports injury statistic.
Warm-up and prepare.
Warming up prepares the body for physical activity and prevents a rapid increase in blood pressure, improves blood flow to the heart, increases muscle temperature and makes muscles more pliable. Players who warm up properly will improve their performance and reduce the risk of injury.
A thorough warm-up should focus on easy aerobic exercises such as jogging or skipping continuously for around 10 minutes, to raise the body temperature and cause the body to lightly sweat.
Stretching of all the major musclegroups should follow, with sportspecific exercises such as quick direction changes, short sprints and drills nearer the end of the warm-up.
Cooling down, stretching and recovery.
After finishing any physical exercise, cooling down and stretching will help reduce the incidence of injuries and muscle stiffness, as well as helping improve flexibility.
A cool-down should involve gentle aerobic exercise such as a slow jog or brisk walk, followed by static stretching. It is also important to rehydrate, and treat any bruises, strains or sprains.
For more info see acc.co.nz