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15 tips and 3 key criteria to avoid sports injuries

Training properly, being equipped with the most suitable gear and listening to your body are the 3 main ways to avoid sports injuries. With these 15 tips, you will know how to reduce the risk of feeling pain during and after exercise.

Take proper care at every stage of training


Avoiding sports injuries starts with correctly performed training:

  • Start by warming up for at least 10 minutes to prepare the muscles for the workout session and gradually increase your heart rate.
  • Before each exercise, take the time to position yourself properly. Observe each movement to be performed and follow the coach’s advice if you are training in the gym or using the help of a virtual video coaching solution.
  • Stretch after the workout session, doing static stretching without exerting the most stressed muscle groups in your sport.
  • Work on your flexibility at different times: Do this during the warm-up session with dynamic stretching, between sessions. For example, with stretching or yoga exercises. This can also be incorporated during the stretching stage.

Equip yourself with high-quality gear


Having the right equipment according to your body shape and the activity you do is also one of the keys to avoiding sports injuries: This means shoes, clothing and accessories. Ideally, use your own equipment and choose it carefully, taking your comfort into account. Likewise, maintaining your sports equipment is important to prevent the risk of falling or injury:

  • Be sure to try out any new equipment before a competition or sporting event.
  • Know how to detect signs of wear and tear on your shoes, home fitness equipment or sports gear: Skis, snowshoes, balls, mats and so on.
  • Change the insoles of your shoes regularly.
  • Clothing and accessories that are poorly chosen or are the wrong size can cause injuries, blisters or irritation from repeated rubbing against the skin.
  • Make sure that your clothes fit well, are not damaged and are comfortable at all times: The position of elbow or knee pads, condition of a bicycle helmet, support and elasticity of cycling clothes or sports bras, etc.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and the instructions for your equipment: Servicing a home fitness appliance, washing and drying temperature of fabrics, etc.
  • Clean your equipment after each use and monitor its condition: Yoga mats, treadmills, elliptical bikes, rowing machines and suchlike.

Taking care of yourself and knowing how to listen to your body


Lastly, the best way to avoid sports injuries is to have a healthy lifestyle and listen to your body:

  • Learn how to recognise (or even prevent) thirst and hydrate yourself sufficiently: Dehydration can be a source of cramps, aches and pains in the tendons. In addition, the body needs water to build up glycogen levels, thus lack of water can also have an impact on your sporting performance.
  • Take care of your diet:
  • Include protein in your diet: Amino acids are the building blocks of muscle fibres and are essential for cell formation.
  • Adequate and high-quality carbohydrate intake also prevents discomfort and sports injuries.
  • Include fruit and vegetables in your meals as they are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They ensure better protection against free radicals and help maintain a healthy immune system.
  • Consuming essential fatty acids helps the body to better resist injuries during exercise: Nuts, fish, avocado, etc.
  • If your diet is too low in nutrients, the body draws energy directly from the core of the muscles, which can be detrimental to your sports performance and general health.
  • Get adequate sleep at consistent times: Sleep is essential for the body’s recovery and helps support the immune system. A scientific study shows that athletes who sleep less than 8 hours per night have an average 1.7 times greater risk of injury during the season. Athletes sleeping less than 5 hours a night can have up to 3 times greater risk of injury during workouts.
  • If you are very tired or if you have a period of intense physical activity, don’t hesitate to postpone a training session in order to get some rest: In the long term, this strategy always proves to be a winning one!

Check out our Health & Fitness page for more advice.