Injuries are frustrating and annoyingly they can become more frequent as we age, lose fitness or get heavier. It’s a bad feeling sitting on on the sofa at home after you’ve just done your hammy or pulled your achilles heel wondering how you are going to get back to fitness and keep that weight off if you can’t play.
And while we can’t guarantee that you will always avoid injury ass with every sport there is a risk of injury in every sport, here are some measures you can take to minimize the risk of picking up an annoying torn muscle or niggles that can stop you playing.
1. Get fitter, get more active, play more often, lose some weight
This is one we are often not honest enough with ourselves about, that fact is our bodies were not made to be carrying that extra 1, 2 , 3 stones. Our muscles and joints struggle with the extra burden, so stands to reason carrying less weight means there is less risk of injury. If when you start you are carrying a bit more weight, build back up to fitness slowly matching the intensity of your effort with your fitness level.
2. Warm up Instead of firing balls at the poor bloke in goal, try going for a jog and a stretch before playing your next game of 5-aside. Dynamic stretching such as bounding, lunging, and hip rotation is believed to be better than static stretching. Often we smile at the guy doing the warm up but he’ll be the one playing week in, week out without injury.
3. Start stretching regularly Don’t worry you don’t have to grow a long beard and go and live in the Himalayas for this one! If you’re working in an office or spend a lot of time driving/ sitting down, setting aside 10 minutes a day to stretch out is a good way to increase flexibility and prevent injury.
4. Start with Warm LegsCold legs mean your muscles are contracted, so going form zero to one hundred miles per hour without getting them warm means your more likely to pull or worse still tear a muscle. So starting with warm legs puts you at an advantage, a simple way to do that is to at least start in trousers / skins. It’s particularly relevant as we go into the colder months.
5. Invest in some decent boots / trainers The right footwear is important for injury prevention. This doesn’t mean you have to spend hundreds on the latest pair it’s more important that they fit well so that you can run effectively on the surface you are playing on and strike the ball naturally.
Last but not least! Keep playing, if you keep active regularly, you’ll get fitter, you’ll lose some weight, muscles will strengthen and lengthen and you get a multiplier effect of less risk of injury. See you at your next game 👍