NAPO - CEPA - Reading Type 3 - Text 2

Sports injuries

     In recent years, health professionals have been urging people to take up exercise and sport for all of the health benefits exercise has to offer, and increasing numbers of people of all ages have begun to heed this advice. However, an increase in physical activity, while intended as a health benefit, can also increase the likelihood of injury. Whether it is a sprained ankle or a broken leg, there is nothing more frustrating than watching your team-mates from the sidelines or having to stop your daily gym workout.

     While some sports injuries are unavoidable, most can be treated effectively. Most people who suffer injuries can return to a satisfying level of physical activity afterwards. Even better, many injuries can be prevented if people take the proper precautions. Not overdoing exercise, training properly, and warming up properly are all important ways of reducing the risk of injury.

     Warming up before every training session and competition helps to increase blood flow to the muscles. This means the muscles and surrounding tissues can move with more freedom. Warm ups should begin with easy aerobic activity - for example, jogging for five to ten minutes - followed by gentle stretching exercises. The aim of this part of the warm-up is to stretch the muscles and joints, making them more flexible and less likely to tear. It is particularly important to stretch each of the main muscle groups that will be used in training or competition. A butterfly swimmer, for example, should stretch their shoulder, back and neck muscles. Each stretch should last for ten to fifteen seconds. The whole warm up routine should last between ten and fifteen minutes.

     Cooling down at the end of a training session or competition also helps to avoid injuries. It does this by helping the body dispose of waste products that have built up in the muscles while exercising or playing. The cool-down involves the same steps as the warm-up - light aerobic exercise and gentle stretching. Following these simple steps at the beginning and end of the exercise session is one way to ensure that injuries are avoided.


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