A lot of people believe that stretching before exercise or any sports activities will prevent injuries. Unfortunately, stretching generally doesn’t work for the things people think it does, and it is particularly useless at preventing injury.
However, there other 5 things you can do to prevent injuries:
1. Regulate your training load:
Train regularly and moderately, with only moderate increases in load. Injures occur when the load is increased too quickly. If you methodically work your way up to a high load, it may even be protective.
2. Warm up:
The best simple way to prevent injury is to warm up. Prepare for any intense activity by doing a similar activity, however less intensely. In other words, start slow! To warm up your tissues, you need metabolic activity: the heat causes physical changes in connective tissues that make them more pliable.
Warming up is not about getting exhausted or worn down before going into the exercise itself. It literally just means to feel warmer and more fluid in movement.
3. Get your sleep:
Fatigue is a major risk factor for injury. Sleep deprivation is an almost universally underestimated problem. It’s a major factor in chronic pain and athletic performance. Getting more sleep boosts boosts performance, and injury rates and recovery are probably affected too.
Struggling with insomnia? Here is a great article to treat it (by the way it’s easier than you think).
4. Balance and coordination:
It seems that minor glitches in coordinating fast and complicated movements lead to injuries. It’s an inability to sense and respond to traumatic forces at the right time, either from lack of developed skill and/or fatigue. Creating coordination takes practice at complex and specific tasks. Research shows practicing balance, which is one of the most basic elements of coordination, improves balance and coordination. Simply challenging yourself with a wide variety of activity and sensations can mean less falls and less injuries.
5. Watch those niggles:
Some studies show that soccer players who had minor physical complaints — “niggles” — were actually warning signs of more serious athletic injuries. The complaints were linked to at least triple the risk of a more serious injury in the next week. It might be worthwhile to evaluate niggles that we usually neglect and don’t pay attention to.
Masking symptoms with medication
Pain killers and anti-inflammatories, when they are effective, can make you feel less vulnerable than you actually are. And that’s when you’re going to go too far and hurt yourself … again. And you may not even realize it, both because of the masking and because it doesn’t have to be serious re-injury to really slow down recovery.
During recovery remove stress on tissues and allow natural process of healing.