Americans have always had a strong interest in sports. As time has passed, we've gone from sitting on the sidelines to running the field ourselves. Whether one's activity of choice puts them into direct contact with other players or has them flying solo on the court, there is a chance that an unexpected injury could occur. Here, we discuss a few suggestions for the sports enthusiast who wants to maintain their A-Game.
- Give the joints a rest. When we engage the same body parts over and over again, the joints that support movements are continually put under stress. If an activity requires a lot of running, days off may be spent enjoying lower-impact exercise like swimming. Giving the joints a day off when possible provides sufficient time for recovery. In the long run, this type of practice can foster better joint health over the years.
- Get the body ready for sports. Multiple studies have confirmed that there is nothing like a good warm-up session to decrease the risk of injuries during sports and exercise. Warming-up means just that, to warm the muscles and get the joints primed for the motions they will be asked to do during a given activity. This strategy takes less than 10 minutes and offers substantial benefits.
- Fuel the body with anti-inflammatory foods. The reason joints and other body parts develop stiffness and pain is that inflammation has occurred. Several studies have suggested that foods are primary factors related to systemic inflammation. Likewise, foods can also decrease inflammation. In so doing, these foods support joint health as the body ages. Anti-inflammatory foods to add to your plate include cauliflower, onions, sweet peppers, broccoli, citrus fruits, mushrooms, and ginger.
Our team provides friendly, professional care to athletes at all levels when unexpected injuries occur. It is beneficial to keep in mind that pain of any kind is a signal to rest. A few days off to prevent significant damage to a joint is a much better prospect than forging ahead with a sport or exercise only to come face to face with a serious injury.