5 Safety Tips for Athletes of All Ages
Being a premier athlete requires training and dedication to the sport, however what many athletes overlook is how to train and play smart. We’re going to share five simple safety tips for athletes that can help to extend a passion or career in sports.
1. Stay hydrated
While water consumption probably isn’t the first thing that came to your mind when thinking about safety tips for athletes, making sure you’re properly hydrated is essential to overall athletic performance and health. According to sports scientists, individuals who are training regularly will need about a half ounce to an ounce of water for each pound of bodyweight per day. For example, a person that weighs 150 pounds will require anywhere from 75 ounces to 100 ounces of water each day. Maintaining these levels of hydration can minimize the risk for cramps, muscle tightening, and other injuries.
2. Stretch regularly
In addition to properly stretching and warming up before any sporting event or activity, it’s important to stretch after and throughout your sport season. This helps to reduce muscle and joint pain and keeps your body limber so it can recover faster.
3. Always wear appropriate gear
No matter what sport you play, it’s important to always be equipped with the appropriate gear to protect your body. For example, football players should always wear a helmet, shoulder and body pads, and a mouth guard, whether training or in a competitive game. Soccer players on the other hand will require different protective gear, such as shin guards. When it comes to protective gear, it’s not just about wearing the required items, but making sure that each piece is fitted for the specific player, ensuring total protection.
4. Listen to your body
Athletes are determined and have a strong drive by nature, which is a great asset to have on the field, but can leave one prone to injury if this drive to play overtakes their ability to know when to take a break. Many times, athletes will play with a minor injury, exacerbating it which can mean a longer recovery period and in extreme
cases, can be career ending. To stay safe, athletes must listen to their body and be smart when minor injuries occur.
5. Maintain regular sports medicine appointments
Making sure to schedule regular appointments with a sports medical professional can ensure that you body is in top optimal condition. Regular reviews and checkups can also catch stress on certain parts of the body early, allowing for treatment at the earliest stage possible and a better chance for recovery.
Playing sports and staying active is a great way to stay healthy, however only as long as you take the proper steps to stay safe. So whether you’re playing a sport in a local club or are competing at a collegiate or professional level, make sure to keep the above safety tips in mind for a long and successful sporting career.
Jessica Kane is a writer for SteelLocker Sports. A leading provider of sporting goods and training programs for coaches, players, parents and institutions with a primary focus on youth sports.