Since an injury causes loss on both fronts, one on the body issue which needs time to repair and recoup and two on the time loss which could have been put to better use for training and betterment. It is very similar to a financial loss, one you lose the money, second you spend more time to make it up. Serious sportsmen fear injuries more than anything else.
Some hard facts:
- Over 25,000 Americans sprain their ankles daily
- 1 out of every 17 athletes suffer sports injury while playing the sport.
- More than 50% of these injuries are preventable.
There are a few preventive measures that could be taken to prevent sports injuries, but most sportspersons do not practice them. These measures are not yet popular. Some techniques to prevent sports injuries are:
1. Good warm up: A good and gradual warm up would help increase the body temperature gradually, increasing the circulation and oxygen supply to the muscles. It prepares the body and the mind together for hectic physical activity that may follow.
2. Good cool down: Like a good warm up, a good cool down in immensely important to bring down the body temperature. It prevents pooling of blood in excessively used muscles and limbs and prevents build up of toxic matter like lactic acid in the muscles. It relaxes the muscles and your body entirely fighting away the stiffening and tightening.
However a good magical procedure to prevent sports injury by 50% is stretching. By making stretching a consistent part of a sportsman’s exercise regimen, you could prevent major injuries. Stretching is a simple process of relaxing your body and most sportsmen tend to put it away as it is too simple and hence ineffective. This is a gross error in judgment, as stretching is vital to any exercise regimen, sportsmen or not.
Stretching improves flexibility and flexible muscles are prone to much lesser injuries. The benefits of stretching are yet to be realized by most sportsmen and coaches. Those who have already incorporated stretching are getting invaluable results from it by staying injury free.
How Stretching Works?
Stretching increases the length of tendons and muscles, resulting in increase of “range of movement”. This implies that muscles and tendons can stretch a little further before injury inflicts them.
Lets us suppose the muscles of your neck are stiff and your ability to look around or turn your head is limited. While participating in your favorite sport, if you neck has to go beyond its normal range of movement, it would result in muscle tear or strain. If you do regular stretching of your neck muscles, its range of movement would improve and you might not be prone to such injuries in the future because your neck now has a better range of movement.
Stretching promotes recovery and prevents soreness. Stretching also makes sure that your muscles and tendons are in good working shape. Stretching in short conditions your muscles and conditioned muscles are prone to fewer injuries because they can handle more stress of sports and exercise.
There is certainly more to stretching than commonly believed. All the best for an injury free life.
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Julian Hall - Director of Claims
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