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Top 10 Tips for Physically Active People
Some common sense advice on how to prevent sports injuries can be found in the March/April issue of the American College of Sports Medicines' Health & Fitness Journal.
James A. Peterson, PhD, a consultant in sports medicine, provides a Top 10 List for physically active people. Here's a summary of his key advice:
1. An Ounce of Prevention
Being in top shape lessens your chances of a sports injury.
2. Listen to the Body
Discomfort means you are doing something your body is not used to.
Pain is a sign that something could be seriously wrong, and should be checked out.
3. Pace Themselves
Don't do too much too soon when you start an exercise program, whether its aerobic or strength conditioning.
4. Don't Try to Tough Out Pain
An attitude of "nothing can stop me" can exacerbate a serious injury.
5. See a Physician
If pain persists, get it checked out by an experienced doctor.
6. Remember Who the Smart One Is
Follow your doctor's feedback, and, if necessary, get a second opinion.
7. Keep in Mind That the Body Is a Chain
You could suffer an injury in one part of the body that's due to weakness or a problem in another body part.
8. The Health-Exercise Connection
Rest and a sound diet should never be underestimated.
9. Balance is Key
Muscles in the front of the body should be just as strong, if not stronger, as muscles in the back of the body.
Disproportionately weaker muscles are more apt to be pulled, which is the main reason why weekend athletes pull the hamstring muscle.
10. 12 Months a Year
Work out year-round to prevent deconditioning.