Prepare, Protect & Prevent and get the most out of being active

It’s sometimes hard enough to get motivated for activity, having to battle time constraints, fatigue and weather conditions, let alone having to deal with an injury.

To avoid the burden of an injury whilst being active, you need to remember to prepare your body. Without preparation, injuries are more likely to occur.

So to help you prepare and keep you injury free, Smartplay, Sports Medicine Australia’s injury prevention program funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, offers the following advice:

Man celebrating after a run

Good Preparation Is Important

Always warm up, stretch and cool down.

Undertake training prior to competition to ensure readiness to play.

Undertake fitness programs to develop endurance, strength, balance, coordination and flexibility.

Gradually increase the intensity and duration of training.

Good Techniques And Practices Will Help Prevent Injury

Know the rules and play fairly.

Avoid doing too much too soon. Establish a graduated training program.

Before playing competitively, learn, practise and use correct skills and techniques.

Be aware of the consequences of using sporting equipment inappropriately.

Know your physical capabilities and choose activities appropriate to your fitness level.

Wear The Right Protective Equipment

Wear a mouthguard, preferably custom-fitted, at all times. If you’d like additional information on why a mouthguard is a good idea, please read this.

Wear shoes specifically designed for your activity.

Wear the appropriate protective gear at all times.

Check the sporting equipment for hazards

Check and maintain the playing surface to remove hazards, eg. stones, wet surfaces.

Other Safety Tips

Eat a well-balanced nutritional diet.

Drink water before, during and after play.

Avoid drinking alcohol 48 hours before a game.

Avoid drinking alcohol after a game.

Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen when playing outdoors.

Do NOT play in extreme heat, wet or slippery conditions. Being active isn’t worth an injury.

Know What To Do If An Injury Occurs

If you are injured or bleeding you should remove yourself from playing immediately.

If injured seek prompt attention from qualified first aid personnel.

An ankle brace should be worn for at least three months after serious ankle injury.

These precautions will ensure your injury risks are reduced. Remember injuries usually mean time on the sideline so prevention is the key!

Senior Couple Exercising In Park

For further information on how to reduce your injury risks, visit Sports Medicine Australia.

Another way to ensure that you are getting the most from being active is to look after your muscles before exercise (by warming up) and after exercise by stretching out any aches and tightness.

Consider a massage gun, if you find that you are regularly sore and tender after exercising.

These devices are suddenly everywhere, and for good reason; they are both great for warming up before activity, and fantastic for loosening you up afterwards.

We put together a 2021 guide of the best massage guns available in Australia.

Please visit this page if you’d like to know more about remedial massage and myotherapy.