Sport injury prevention is one of the critical elements of any sports training program. Face it, the more active you are, the more stress you will put on your body and various joints, which can result in both minor aches or major injuries. Here are four steps you can take to reduce your chances of suffering a sports injury.

1)Wear Protective Gear
Protective gear is anything you wear that helps keep you from getting hurt. The gear you wear depends on the sport you play. Some sports require helmets, while others require eye protection, mouthguards, pads, wrist, elbow, and knee guards, and a protective cup. And don't forget your feet. Cleats are worn in football, baseball, softball, and soccer. These shoes have special rubber or plastic points on the soles to help your feet grip the ground when you run around.

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2)Warm Up!
Take the time to get your blood circulating by warming up. Quite simpley, it's not a good idea to just bolt on to the field and start playing, when your body is cold or tight. You shouldn't even start stretching until you're a little warmed up. So take a light jog to get loosened up and ready to play. Doing some stretching also can get you prepared to hit the field. By warming up, you get yourself ready to play. Warming up your muscles and practicing a sport help keep you safe, too. Warm-ups that last 15 to 30 minutes and include slow, gradual stretching help lengthen your muscles and increase your blood flow and muscle temperature. That way, your muscles are ready to go and are much less likely to get hurt.

3) Know the Rules of the Game
When players know the rules of the game fewer injuries happen. You and the other players know what to expect from each other. For instance, you know that in soccer you can't come from behind, crash into a player's legs, and steal the ball. It's legal and safer to go after the ball rather than the player.With sports that use plays, it helps to understand the plays and what your role is in each one. Being where you're supposed to be can help you stay out of harm's way, too.

4) Don't Play When You're Injured
This is probably the most important tip and one that is often most difficult for competitive athletes. If you love the game, it's tempting to get right back in the action, even after an injury. But playing when you're hurt — or before an injury has had a chance to fully heal — is a bad idea. It can lead to an even worse injury, one that might sideline you for a long time. Plus if you try to play with an existing injury, you may develop bad habits or tendencies that cause distress or injury to other parts of your body. See a doctor for your injuries, when necessary, and follow his or her advice about how and when to return to practice and play.

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