Taking up a new sport or activity is a great way for men to live healthier lifestyles filled with more exercise. But sometimes, you may greet the challenge with a little too much enthusiasm — it can be all too easy to throw yourself into a new regimen before you’re ready and risk injury.
It’s important to ease into any exercise that’s new to you or that you haven’t done in a while. And if you’ve been inactive for an extended period of time or have health concerns, be sure to check with your doctor before starting an exercise program. Read on to learn about common sports injuries for men and their symptoms, plus how to prevent them.
Rotator Cuff Tears or Impingements
Caused by straining a cold muscle in a sudden overhead motion such as a tennis serve, you may feel sharp pain, a sudden weakness and even a snapping sensation in the arm.
Achilles Tendon Ruptures and Tears
These injuries can happen in any sport that involves running, especially with sudden acceleration as in tennis and basketball. Men often face this kind of injury at middle age, especially when they haven’t stretched.
Sprains or Strains of the Medial Collateral Ligament
This ligament straps the inside of the knee joint. Often triggered by a lack of strength or flexibility, this injury can occur when you’re pivoting in basketball or rotating suddenly, as a base runner in softball might.
Men with this malady have an inflammation of the tendons that extend from elbow to wrist. It’s caused by repeated movement and can affect men who bowl or play racket-based sports.
How to Prevent Them
Check Your Shoes
Make sure your athletic shoes fit well and are in good shape. This can help prevent rolling an ankle or putting undue strain on your feet, knees, hips and back.
A five- to 10-minute pre-exercise warmup should include gentle stretching, as well as strengthening and cardiovascular exercises. While warming up, consider the physical demands of your chosen activity. For example: Prepare for a tennis match or basketball game by carefully stretching your Achilles tendon.
Don’t Be a Weekend Warrior
Routine physical activity will build and maintain conditioning, allowing you to participate in any athletic pursuit with less risk of injury. Experts suggest getting at least a half hour of physical activity on most days. Walking is one of the best and most easily accessible exercises you can do to stay in shape.
Take a Break
Rest for a day between games or workouts to allow muscles to recover, and to prevent strains and injuries from overuse.