Playing kickball or basketball with your friends can be a great way to stay active and be social at the same time. However, it is important that you take steps to avoid both nagging and potentially serious injuries while playing. If you are picking up a sport after a long period of inactivity, it may be a good idea to talk to your doctor before doing so.
Know Your Limits
If you notice that your back is starting to bother you or that your knee is acting up, don’t be afraid to take a break. Trying to play through the pain is one of the easiest ways to hurt yourself or exacerbate an existing injury. If your have asthma, you should bring an inhaler to the game or any other medication that you usually take.
Wear Proper Equipment
While you may think that your injury risk is relatively low playing a pickup game with friends, that may not necessarily be true. An inadvertent poke to the eye or a kick to the groin could be painful and result in lingering side effects. Therefore, make sure that you wear goggles or an athletic supporter if you are playing a contact sport. Even in an impromptu baseball game with all the kids in the neighborhood, wearing kids’ baseball cleats instead of sneakers is the best way to avoid injuries when playing on muddy or slippery fields
Use Proper Form
You don’t get extra points for tackling someone especially hard. Your golf score is rarely going to improve by getting an extra couple of yards off the tee. However, you could hurt your head or back if you hit or swing too hard. The odds of an injury are increased significantly if you use poor form on a repeated basis.
Your body loses water and other nutrients each time that you drink a beer or otherwise drink an alcoholic beverage. If you play in especially hot weather, you could put yourself at risk for pulled muscles, heat stroke or other serious health ailments. There is also the possibility that you say something stupid to an official or another player that could lead to a fight. It is generally a better idea to drink water or a sports drink until after the game is over.
It is critical that you take steps to remain safe while on the field. Although your competitive nature may drive you to be aggressive during a game, there is nothing worse than missing weeks or months of action because you dove for a loose ball or wanted to make the green in two shots. By remembering that sports are supposed to be fun, you can have a good time without the need to see the doctor afterward.
Jessica Kane is a writer for SteelLocker Sports, a leading retailer of brand name baseball equipment at great discount prices.