When a person plays sports, they put their body at risk for all kinds of injuries. The body can be injured when pushed beyond what it can handle, and it can be injured upon impact. It is important that athletes look out for their bodies when playing sports, and be conscious of injury prevention.

Prevent ACL Injuries by Strengthening Weak Muscles

ACL injuries are common among those who play sports, and they are serious. These knee injuries can cause an athlete to miss weeks or even an entire season. Weak muscles put people at risk of ACL injuries. Working with a physical therapist can establish which muscles require strengthening.

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Wear Protective Gear

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can cause memory loss and other long-term symptoms. People who participate in high-impact sports should wear protective gear that will help prevent head injuries. Protecting the head and neck with a helmet can mean the difference between a minor concussion and a serious brain injury or paralysis.

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Be Conscious of the Temperature

Heat stroke is a real issue for athletes and something that should be taken seriously. When exercising in the heat, you are putting your body through a lot. Staying alert to how your body is feeling can prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke. When it's hot out, always drink plenty of fluids, including pure water and beverages rich in electrolytes. Dress in loose clothing and take breaks as needed.

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Take a Day Off

The body can get worn out when it is put through multiple days of hard work. A tired body is at greater risk of injury than a well-rested one. Spending a day resting can help you prevent sports injuries because this gives your body a chance to recover and repair tissues. Plan to take off at least one day a week from your workout regime.

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The Importance of Flexibility

The more flexible your body is, the less likely you'll end up with a tendon or muscle tear or joint damage. Stretching is important when it comes to caring for the human body and protecting against injuries. Though experts argue whether its best to stretch before or after working out, there's no question stretching is an important part of any fitness regime.

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Play by the Rules

Rules are there for a reason: to keep everyone safe. Players who are too aggressive or generally dismiss the regulations of the game put themselves and others at risk of injury.

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Time Out for Pain

Pain is often seen as a normal part of sports or fitness. It can be tempting to push through the pain and keep playing, but this is often dangerous. Playing through the pain causes existing strains or injuries to worsen.

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Proper Gear

A twisted ankle or injured knee can cause a serious injury quickly. The right braces and supports can help prevent these types of injuries. Knee pads are good for sports that require impact with the ground (such as soccer), braces and athletic tape can be worn while running, and full padding is important in physical contact sports.

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Pay Attention to Previous Injuries

It is essential to respect the previous injury or trauma your body has already experienced. Extra care for these formerly inured sites -- through stretching, icing, rest, or protective gear -- will help prevent recurrences that are often more serious than the initial injury.

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Proper Nutrition

Eating right is something that can't be overlooked when striving to live a healthy and injury-free athletic life. A balanced diet with the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and other essentials will ensure you maintain your energy, strength, flexibility, and general good health.

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