(HealthDay News) -- If summer beckons you outside to play, take precautions to lower your chance of getting hurt during your pursuit of recreation.
"While it is impossible to prevent every sports injury, the rates could be reduced significantly if athletes took appropriate preventative steps no matter what sport you enjoy playing," Dr. Victor Khabie, chief of orthopedic surgery and sports medicine at Northern Westchester Medical Center in Mt. Kisco, N.Y., said in a news release.
- Get in good physical condition. Train properly with strengthening, endurance and stretching exercises before tackling a sport. Don't forget to warm up your muscles and stretch immediately before playing.
- Know the rules and follow them. Many regulations are designed to keep the sport safe for you and others.
- Have the right equipment. Never play without the proper (and proper-fitting) protective gear for your sport. This could save bumps, bruises, eyes, teeth and maybe even your life.
- Rest -- especially when tired or in pain. The body needs time to recover between training and playing sessions to prevent injuries from overuse or fatigue. Proper rest can help make you strong, and it is essential when you feel pain.
The American Heart Association has more about how to exercise successfully.
-- Kevin McKeever
SOURCE: Northern Westchester Medical Center, news release, June 16, 2009
Last Updated: June 27, 2009
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