Sports are a great way to get in shape and stay that way. You are constantly moving, sweating, keeping your heart rate up, and it’s usually quite fun, as well. Especially for those of us that are on the competitive side.
However, with the rise in injuries and deaths, especially in young people, safety is becoming more of an issue when it comes to practicing for the big game. It is always a good idea to protect yourself from harm, but while playing a sport, your level of dedication to the matter should increase respectively. Here are a few ways you can do that.
Bring On The Rain!
Whether we are talking about you or your child, sports are physically demanding. How demanding depends on the sport, but all require you to be well hydrated. Too many times, we underestimate the need our body has for fluid intake and end up paying the price. Many times we are not even aware why. Three fourths of your body’s weight consist of water. When those levels drop below normal, your body has trouble functioning.
You may endure headaches, dizziness, dry mouth, lethargy, or sleepiness, irritability, and in extreme cases, you could suffer kidney failure. As you practice, you may sweat, spit, use the restroom, and hopefully, you’re breathing, too. All of these very common practices deplete your body of life giving water. Make sure to replace it regularly.
Caution: Temperatures May Exceed Normal
Football season is upon us along with cross country running, cheerleading, gymnastics, tennis, and volleyball. All of these sports are extremely demanding and the majority of them are practiced and played outside. As the season progresses, the temperature outside drops and the chances for heat exhaustion and heat stroke drop considerably with it.
However, the practices for these sports very commonly begin in the summer months when temperatures can reach 100 degrees or more in some locations. This makes practicing not only more taxing on the body, but downright dangerous in some instances. Make sure there are plenty of options for cooling off. Incorporate several breaks throughout practice. Supply plenty of fluids and places to safely lower your players’ core body temperature.
Forgot Your Helmet?
As we begin our adventures into sports of all kinds, it is important to remember to be adequately equipped for our protection and the protection of others. The lack of proper equipment can lead to everything from minor scrapes and bruises to concussions and even death. When playing football, always remember to wear a helmet, mouth guard, and all appropriate padding for your specific position.
On your way to the NBA? Make sure to protect your eyes, wear that mouth guard again, athletic supporters for the guys, and have sun protection if you intend to play outside. In every sport, make certain you have the proper shoes for the job. You don’t want attempt cross country running in football cleats.
Playing sports can be an all around pleasant experience. You can gain and maintain great health and learn life lessons every time you are on the court or field, but only if safety is your first priority.