Participating in any sport presents a risk of injury. If you find yourself becoming seriously injured, it may be the case that you are prevented from continuing with the sport that you love. More serious injuries may also result in loss of earnings when people are precluded from working as a result. It is clear that the benefits of sport notably outweigh the potential risks so it is important to take all possible steps to prevent injury and continue to enjoy participation in physical activities.
Use available safety equipment
Many sports have specific items that are designed to prevent accidents. A great example is American Football. Basic equipment used in this game consists of a helmet, shoulder, knee and thigh pads, gloves and shoes. Additional equipment may be used, such as elbow, hip, tailbone and rib pads, neck rolls and mouth guards. It is not surprising then that in a game such as rugby in which there are similar risks to the person but safety equipment is often shunned, injuries frequently result. There is, however, a great selection of protective gear available to rugby players which, if used, will notably reduce injury risks. For example mouth guards, braces to protect joints, headgear, body protection and tackle suits.
Weigh up the risks
Some sports are particularly risky by their very nature. Examples include skiing, snowboarding, horse riding, motocross and bungee jumping. Whilst for many people, the enjoyment that they get from such sports by far outweighs the risks; this is a decision for the individual. For example, there is clearly a thrill and an adrenaline rush associated with bungee jumping. Most people are aware that there is a risk of death if the rope snaps or its length is incorrect. However, did you know that there is a very serious risk of retinal haemorrhage or that women risk uterine prolapse? When deciding whether any sport is for you, you need to research the associated risks and benefits and make an informed decision.
Learn to swim
Swimming is a popular sport in its own right, offering incredible health benefits. It can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke to name but a few. It is a great way to start your journey to becoming more active because it puts no strain on the joints. An additional benefit is that learning to swim may save your life, or somebody else’s when participating in other sports. Many water sports require a basic level of swimming but the stronger you are in the water, the more your risk of drowning is minimised. Even if you are participating in a sport that is not water based, there is always a chance that your swimming skills could be required. Consider the example of running or cycling alongside a canal or lake. Whilst falling in may not be at the forefront of your mind, there is always a small risk that it could happen and being able to swim becomes essential.