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Don't Start Practice Without Doing These Things First

Don't Start Practice Without Doing These Things First

If you’re part of a sports team, you spend a lot of time practicing to develop your skills. This is true for every level of sports, from youth rec leagues to professional leagues.

About 8.6 million people over 5 are injured playing sports in the U.S. every year. If you want to avoid joining their ranks, you should take your practice preparation seriously. 

Our expert team of providers at The Woodlands Sports Medicine Centre has noticed a few common themes with sports injuries over the years.

To stay safe and injury-free, don’t start practice without doing these things first:

Hydrate

Your body needs water to function. It’s essential to get rid of waste, keep your joints healthy, regulate your body temperature, and protect tissues. If you don’t drink enough water, you’ll feel tired and drained of energy, which is not ideal when you want to be at your best for practice. 

How much you should drink depends on your situation, but one good way to know if you’re drinking enough is to check the color of your urine. If it’s dark yellow, you need to drink more water. It should be light yellow or colorless.

Eat well

What you eat before and after practice gives your body the fuel it needs to perform as well as build muscle and bone strength and recover after practice. Carbohydrates are good to give you energy beforehand, while proteins, carbs, and fats afterward will help you build new muscle tissue.

Warm up

This is a big one. You shouldn’t just jump full speed into practice. Take 5-10 minutes to warm up first. A good warmup is a wakeup call for your body that tells your muscles to prepare for action.

You’re literally raising your body temperature slightly to make your muscles, ligaments, joints, etc., more flexible and mobile. This improves your performance, prevents injury, and increases blood flow, which improves delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles during your practice.

A good warmup should involve a relaxed, easy cardiovascular activity, such as a brisk walk, light jog, or 5 minutes on a stationary bike. You should also include dynamic stretching, including motions that replicate what you plan to do during practice (such as high knees if you’re planning to run).

Sleep

You may not think of this immediately, but sufficient sleep of good quality is vital to practicing well. Sleep gives your muscle tissues time to recover between practices, plus it gives you the energy you need to be able to practice at a high level each day.

If you have a sports injury that needs to be treated, our team of caring providers is here to serve you and get you on the road to recovery as soon as possible. Just call our Conroe or The Woodlands, Texas, office today to set up an appointment, or use our online scheduler anytime!

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