Suffering from a sports injury is something that many people face each year. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete, or a weekend warrior, the more active you are, the greater the chance for a sports injury to occur. But the good news is that there are 5 great ways to avoid a sports injury. Keep these tips in mind the next time you lace up. 1 – Be in Proper Condition Weekend warriors tend to get injured easily, and it’s no coincidence. You can’t expect to live a highly sedentary life during the week and expect to perform at a high level during the weekend without the risk of sports injury. Whatever sport or physical activity you take part in, make sure you train for that sport. Most injuries can be prevented with a good set of warm-up exercises and following a properly planned out exercise program. Your best bet is to get a professional trainer and stick to the plan they give you. 2 – Always Warm Up Sedentary lifestyles lead to tightness and rigidity in movement. A proper warm up will loosen joints and warm up muscles and get you ready for the activity about to be faced. Once you start, do so slowly and give your body time to properly adapt. If you have any questions, or want a consultation with a professional, feel free to call, or schedule an appointment online at any of our Bergen County or Passaic County offices in New Jersey. Choose from Glen Rock, Franklin Lakes, Fair Lawn, Ridgewood/Ho-Ho-Kus, and/or Clifton – we make it possible for you to visit any of our offices at your convenience. 3 – Avoid Activity When In Pain This one may go without saying, but people tend to ignore internal cues and do what they want anyway. If your body is in pain, it is a signal that something is wrong. You must listen to your body, especially if you have a sports injury in your medical history. SPECIAL NOTE – There are times when movement is preferred to heal a sports injury. Increased blood flow will move nutrients to the injured site and can help with recovery. HOWEVER, it is important to avoid certain activity when in pain. See a medical professional for an assessment, and a fitness professional for an approved plan of action. 4 – Use Proper Form Whether you are lifting weights or playing tennis, proper form makes all the difference. Learn the basic skills in your choice of activity before ramping up the intensity. Using proper technique will help you stay away from a sports injury and perform more effectively. 5 – Rest When Needed Rest is often overlooked in sports injury prevention. It is important to understand that the body does not deal with each stress individually. It pools them all together, so stress that is work related, personal life related, or stress from lack of sleep or improper nutrition is all dealt with the same way. Also, there is a limited ability to deal with stress. Working out can be a great release, but proper recovery is necessary because otherwise it becomes another source of stress to add to the mix. Prioritizing sleep (by getting 6-8 hours per night) is the best way to keep your body performing well and to avoid injury. SPECIAL NOTE – Do not overlook nutrition in terms of recovery. Make sure to eat a balanced diet that prioritizes lean proteins and vegetables.