Avoid­ing sports in­juries

Waitaki Herald - - ADVERTISING FEATURE - Sports in­juries can be pre­vented with care and prepa­ra­tion.

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

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