Sports injuries are mainly caused by contact with another person, an object, or through overuse of muscles. Obviously, not all such risks can be avoided – you can’t foresee a collision on the pitch or a fall on the track – but they can be minimised.
Getting the body ready for exercise is just as important whether you play sport every day or once a month. It’s particularly important for older people and those not used to exercising. If you are unused to exercise, a visit to your doctor before you start is always a good idea. Gently warm up for five to ten minutes to improve muscle flexibility. Before going on an energetic sporting holiday, such as skiing, start your exercise programme about six weeks beforehand. It’s also important to ease your body back down after activity, first with mild physical exercise, then gentle stretching exercises to help prevent muscle stiffness. Changing into warm clothing stops the body getting chilled.
Clothes and equipment should be chosen with care: shoes must fit properly and be correct for the purpose; clothes should be appropriate, and your racket, bike or clubs should be of the right size for your height and weight.