Engaging in sports brings many benefits. Leading an active lifestyle not only makes the body alert. It also affects one’s moods. Sports and exercise help your body to release endorphins and dopamine. These chemicals make you feel good. Group sports also teach a person to form strong camaraderie with others. As individuals, sports can also be an excellent source for life lessons.
With the many advantages that sports have, some are still afraid to try them. One of the major reasons is the fear of getting injured while playing any sport. Some misconceptions aggravate this fear or cause more harm. Do not miss out on the many benefits of sports. It would help if you learned to do away with myths about sport-related injuries. Here are the most common ones.
Myth # 1: Sporting Injuries Are More Prevalent in Contact Sports
Parents think twice about letting their children play contact sports. Even adults have some apprehensions about getting involved with it. They think that any field with contact sports is ripe with the possibility of an injury. Gear such as knee pads, helmets, or custom football mouth guards lessens injuries. But even with this added precaution, some people still shun away from contact sports.
The reality is that contact with other players is not on top of sports-related injuries. The number one on the list is falling, which can cause strains, fractures, and sprains. Cycling, motorsports, and equestrian sports account for the highest percentage of injuries.
Myth # 2: “Rest Is Best”
When one gets injured because of sports, they fear they might make matters worse when they move. Thus, they choose to put their body on total bed rest. Unfortunately, this strategy does the opposite. Instead of a quicker recovery, it prolongs the healing process.
Activity modification is a better strategy to cope with injuries. The rationale behind this approach is that injured muscles need some strengthening exercises. This technique still involves some movements but in a lighter form. In addition, the movement encourages blood flow, contraction, compression, and decompression of the muscles.
Myth # 3: “No Pain, No Gain”
This myth has been a mantra not only in the field of sports but in many aspects of life. But, how much truth does it hold? This misconception makes novice players ignore some warning signs of overexertion.
One must remember that sports should challenge your body out of its comfort zone. It should stimulate you to move muscles that you would not use under normal activities. As a result, you could expect a little discomfort now and then. But, if you feel persistent pain, you should consider seeing a doctor.
Myth # 4: Running Can Damage Your Knees
This myth fits as a perfect excuse for those who do not want to start or continue a running routine. If a person is too busy to engage in sports, recreational running is an excellent alternative. But, some think that constant running can harm their knees.
Running helps in strengthening muscles and building stronger bones. However, what causes damage to your knees is not running per se. Rather, it could be a result of wrong movements while running. It could also be because of a poor running form.
Myth # 5: Stretching is a Good Warm-up
Warm-up is essential to prepare your body for more strenuous activity. But, stretching should not be on the list of your warm-up routine. This might come as surprising news for you. This information might be something that goes against what you know and practice.
Recent studies show that stretching before a sports activity could decrease your performance. Static stretching or holding a stretch for 30 to 90 seconds could weaken the muscles. Thus, this would not help you to do a sports activity with more vigor. It could even make you more prone to injury.
Instead of stretches, a player must include in their warm-up more dynamic movements. For example, one could do high knees, front kicks, squats, hip circles, or a short jog, among many others.
Myth # 6: Strong Athletes Are Less Prone to Injuries
Some athletes get discouraged when they encounter injuries. They think that they still lack strength or power. That perception is because of this myth.
Even the most professional players do encounter accidents that lead to injuries. It does not matter how strong of an athlete you are. Your muscles are not exempted from tearing nor your bones from breaking. The most effective way for you to reduce the chances of injury is to make yourself strong. Rather, injuries are best prevented through proper training and conditioning.
It would help if you educated yourself to see beyond the myths about injuries in sports. As an athlete, minor injuries are inevitable. You only need to know how to treat them the right way for a faster recovery. Then, learn the lessons and prevent them from happening again.