Tips to avoid sports injuries

Brockton -09/25/12- Brockton High School athletic director Jeri Connor in her training room at Marciano Field, tapes the ankle sprain that Lindsay Goms, a junior got playing soccer. Boston Globe staff photo by John Tlumacki(lifestyle)
Brockton High School athletic director Jeri Connor (with Lindsay Goms) said that some of the pressure on student athletes to hide injuries comes from parents.
The Boston Globe

Warm Up

Studies have shown that cold muscles are more prone to injury. Warm up with jumping jacks, stationary cycling, or running or walking in place for three to five minutes. Then slowly and gently stretch, holding each stretch for 30 seconds.

Cool Down

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Gentle stretching after physical activity prepares your body for the next time you exercise. It will make recovery from exercise easier.

Be Consistent

Avoid the “weekend warrior” syndrome. Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day.

Be Prepared

Take sports lessons. Whether you are a beginner or have been playing a sport for a long time, proper form and instruction reduce the chance of developing an “overuse” injury like tendinitis or a stress fracture.

Listen to Your Body

As you age, you are not as flexible as you once were and cannot tolerate the same types of activities that you did years ago. Modify activity to accommodate your body’s needs.

Use the 10 Percent Rule

When changing your activity level, increase it in increments of no more than 10 percent per week. When strength training, use the 10 percent rule as your guide and increase your weights gradually.