Playing sports is a great way to stay physically active while being social. It teaches you how to work in a team and can also improve your self-esteem. For certain players, their talent can open many doors for them like being able to attend prestigious colleges and paving a solid career as a football player.
However, it’s important to remember that like any sport, playing football can lead to a number of injuries. It has even reached a stage where the NFL has put in place a change in their rules to prevent injuries happening at kick-off.
Common injuries that can occur while playing Football
When training for and playing football, the body will end up experiencing trauma, which leads to injuries. Football has in place a lot of movements that can end in body strain as well. These moves include overhead throws, tackling, and getting the wind knocked out of you.
- Some of the common injuries take place mainly in the joints like the knees and shoulders.
- You can also experience fractures, sprains, and tears in the ligaments like the Achilles Tendon, the quads, the groin, and the hamstring areas.
- Another common injury that players experience is concussions. These occur due to the amount of impact that happens during the match between players and between players and the ground. This can badly affect brain functions.
- Lower back pain can occur due to playing the sport for a long period of time.
- Heat injuries can occur in the form of muscle cramping and heat stroke due to training during the summertime.
- Due to the overuse of your limbs while playing, you can sustain injuries in your wrists and hands.
- Players can experience dislocated kneecaps during training or playing the sport.
- All head and neck injuries must be taken into consideration as they can have lasting effects.
Exercises that will help your body become more resilient to injuries
Prevention is better than cure, and there are ways you can prevent your body from being susceptible to sustaining injuries.
One way to prevent injuries is to create an exercise routine that includes training to build muscle, increase strength and endurance, and improve flexibility.
Before you perform any exercise, before you start training, and before you play a game it is important that you warm up by performing light exercises like jogging and jumping jacks to warm up your muscles to perform and heightened levels. You also need to cool down after these activities to bring your heart rate down to normal levels.
Other ways to keep your body in peak physical shape and maintain your muscles, strength, and endurance would be to train off-season, it will help you keep your edge and be on top form for when the next season starts.
Exercises that you should include in your routine include lunges, stretches, cardiovascular activities like running, and strength training like weight lifting.
Make sure that you wear protective clothing while training and playing
Another way to prevent injuries is to ensure that you are well equipped for your matches, for your training sessions, and while you are performing your exercise routines. This is mainly due to the physically impactful nature of the sport
- Helmets: These help the athlete reduce the instances of experiencing head and brain injuries.
- Mouthguards: These are mainly to reduce the risk of having teeth knocked out while playing the sport.
- Thigh guards: These are padding that is made of foam, and is worn to reduce the shock experienced by that body part during the game
- Field-appropriate shoes: These shoes are designed for players to play optimally on the field and reduce slipping and sliding on the field.
- Padding for the shoulder, hips, tail, and knees: The padding on these body-specific gear is designed to absorb and disperse the shock that players endure due to the heavy impact of the sport.
The role that nutrition plays in muscle growth and strength
One of the ways to prevent injuries is to increase your muscle growth, which will provide your body more resilience against injuries on the field.
You can do this by improving your nutritional intake. This is achieved by changing your eating habits to include protein and carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
To help with your nutritional intake and to build strength at a faster rate, the use of supplements for muscle growth will help you meet this goal. This is because the use of supplements increases the energy you use when working out. You need to look at the range and do research on the type of supplements that will be most suitable for your goals.
Your nutritional intake is also important for your body to reduce inflammation and pain, which will help with rehabilitation after experiencing injuries and for recovery purposes after your games and training sessions.
It is also important to stay hydrated. This will keep your body cool and is important for summer training sessions. When you sweat, you will lose body fluid which needs to be replenished or you will become dehydrated. This will lead to reduced muscle function.
Other ways to implement prevention measures
- Consult with the coach and sports trainer to help you keep on your game and improve your techniques so as not to put your body under strain unnecessarily.
- Be aware of any discomfort that you experience. If you experience any injury, seek medical assistance immediately and be aware of how it may impact your training and match performance.
- Remember to follow the RICE method when sustaining an injury – rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
- Prepare as much as you can, this will help you before the match.
- Consult a physician before taking on any major changes to your routines and training methods.
- Respect the injuries that you have experienced, by making sure that you rehabilitate the injury thoroughly before you start playing again, as it can lead to the worsening of the injury. Have it looked over by a physician before you return.
In order to prevent yourself from sustaining injuries while playing football, it will be a good idea to increase your strength, flexibility, and endurance. You can do this by working on your exercise routine, keeping up with your nutritional intake, and implementing preventative measures into your training and match routines.
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