Being a Good and Safe Sport
Did you make a resolution to get in better shape this year? Maybe you’re already an active person and you are getting back out there after a holiday break. Good for you either way, especially if you can stick to your guns and keep a fit lifestyle. A great way to stay in shape is to have friends that you stay in shape with. People that enjoy long term success with fitness goals are ones who have other people around to encourage them to keep going. A great way to do this is to get a group of friends to regularly play some kind of sport.
When you do get out there be sure to play it safe. Getting physical is great, but make sure that you don’t get physically injured in the course of you getting physically fit. While it certainly is impossible to prevent all injuries there are steps you can take to reduce the chances that you will get hurt.
Do what you know you can do
Telling you to be in shape before you exercise would be a little silly. Why exercise if not to get in good shape? But it is important to know your physical limits before you engage in a sport. Exerting yourself is a good thing but over-exerting can lead to injuries. Do your friends want to do a little American Football? Keep it at light contact and a smaller field size. You don’t need the full 100 meter length field, especially if you’re going to pass out after 10 meters of running.
Stretch, then stretch some more
Muscle flexibility is very important. Stretching before you start exercising can significantly reduce the risk of muscle injury. There are two bodies of thought on how necessary stretching is to exercising. One side claims that it offers no real benefits and is a waste of time and the other side claims that it can reduce muscle soreness and injuries.
A recent study concluded that stretching offered a minimal benefit over not stretching. But why take the risk? While your friends are organizing teams take a moment and get those muscles loosened up and ready to rock and roll.
Playing it safe is a good idea but might get costly when you start shopping for safety equipment. You can shop for used safety gear to save a little cash but make sure that you’re buying it from a reputable sporting goods store that ensures that any used safety equipment is still safe to be used.
Before you think you might look like less of a man wearing knee pads, think about how much less of a man you’ll look like when you’re on the sidelines with a pair of crutches because of a crippling knee injury that might have been avoided.
Encourage your friends to play it safe too and you’ll all look like you know what you’re doing and you don’t have to feel like the odd one out when you show up with pads, gloves, and a cup.
Take it easy
When you’re done playing hard, don’t forget to rest. Relax, cool-down, and give your body time to recover from your physical activity.
Getting your friends together for some regular sporting games is a great way for everyone to get in shape and stay fit. And if you play it safe you’ll be able to continue to enjoy it by staying in one whole piece.
Dennis Aimes is a writer and insurance advisor with HBF Health Insurance. Dennis enjoys baseball a little more than his friends think is healthy but still enjoys any kind of pickup game as long as it gets him home by 9.