Sport is a big part of life for a lot of people. They like to watch it, think about it, talk about it with their friends and family, and, of course, play it themselves too. However, while sport can come with a lot of advantages in terms of fitness, health, and socialization, it can also bring its fair share of risks for every player to take into consideration.
Many of the most popular sports in the US today, like football, hockey, and soccer, involve at least some form of physical contact between players. When these kinds of sports are played, there are always risks of serious physical injuries, and we’ve even seen many high-profile cases of NFL superstars suffering brain injuries, for example.
Helmets and protective equipment have gotten a lot better over the years, and rules have been adapted to help players stay safer on the fields and in the rinks, but the risks still exist, so if you’re one of the countless Americans who play sports regularly, read on for some top tips to help keep your brain safe while having fun.
Wear a Helmet
Of course, one of the most obvious tips for protecting your brain that everyone should know and follow when it comes to playing sports is to make sure you wear a helmet, where appropriate. Most modern contact sports involve the use of helmets nowadays, and statistics have shown that helmets make a massive difference in terms of reducing the risk of traumatic brain injuries.
However, it’s not wise to simply grab the first helmet you find or make use of a hand-me-down from a fellow player. You need to take the time to get fitted professionally and find a helmet that suits your head shape and size. This is why it’s usually recommended to visit a sporting goods store and ask a worker to help you choose the right helmet.
Don’t Overdo It
Your risks of any kind of sporting injury, including a concussion or traumatic brain injury, will increase if you try to push yourself too far. This can include forcing yourself to carry on playing when you don’t feel capable, trying to partake in too much physical activity for your body, or failing to keep your fitness levels high enough to cope with the intensity of the game.
Sporting activity requires some degree of physical fitness, and it’s vital to have a balanced diet, exercise often, and follow a sensible lifestyle in order to have the best experiences in your games. If you’re not quite in top physical form, don’t push yourself too far. Just play a more casual game for a shorter period of time, and always warm up before starting too.
Just because you love sports doesn’t mean you necessarily have to play the sports that could put you at risk of serious brain injuries. There are many alternatives out there, from less physical and risky sports like golf to contact-free alternatives to your favorites, such as tag football.
These other options aren’t quite the same but can be just as much fun for all involved, as well as being better-suited in general for children, as well as older players who aren’t quite in the best physical condition. Do some research and learn about other sporting options you might like to try to help you have fun, get exercise, and reduce the risks of injuries all at the same time.
Another simple tip to keep in mind if you want to have a good time while playing sports while also staying safe is to make sure you always follow the rules and adhere to the standards of good sportsmanship too.
Breaking the rules can put yourself and others in danger. For example, trying to tackle someone illegally on the football field could lead to a nasty injury, or playing unfairly or aggressively could cause unnecessary accidents too. Keep a level head and always play fair to set a good example to your fellow players.
It’s no surprise that millions of American children and adults alike enjoy playing sports, as these games can bring a lot of joy, excitement, and fulfillment into our lives. However, every player needs to be aware of the real risks they face during each game, taking the necessary action to minimize those risks for themselves and others. Keep these useful tips in mind and have the best time whenever you play your favorite sports with friends.