In the US, over 3 million student-athletes end up on a hospital bed because of various injuries related to their activity. While there are many factors influencing students’ health, we can distinguish two main causes of getting injured: trauma due to falling or collision with another athlete, or pushing yourself too hard. Truth be told, nearly half of students are admitted to the hospital with overexertion injuries. And half of these cases could have been prevented if the students followed a few simple health tips and guidelines.
While some athletes can ride out the storm and heal their traumas relatively fast, the others may have long-term severe complications that would lead to losing their scholarship or even close the doors into professional sport forever. The knowledge on how to stay at peak health and prevent injuries will help students to avoid catastrophic outcomes and get the most of their sport-related experience.
Here what athletes can do to stay healthy.
Stick to a Balanced Nutrition
Healthy eating habits are extremely important for any college student. For an athlete though, it is the matter of life and death. Not only does it fuel them with energy and help to endure heavy physical activity, but also keeps their muscles elastic and the bones strong to work at peak performance and prevent injuries.
With that said, student-athletes should be scrupulous about their food and make sure they receive enough macro and micronutrients. Counting calories and protein, carbs, and fats intake is a good way to make sure that the body receives enough nutrients. However, just this may not be enough. Heavy sweating on a regular basis washes out a hefty amount of vitamins and minerals, so students may need to find additional sources of supply. A physician will help to pick the right supplement type and dosage.
Drink Plenty of Water
When college throws new challenges in your path, it may be easy to forget how much water you drink per day. For an athlete, however, it is highly important to stay hydrated as water takes part in the transportation of useful nutrients to the cells and in body thermoregulation. By drinking a sufficient amount of water, students can stay energized and fresh longer, as well as avoid heat-related injuries.
Don’t Neglect Warm-Ups and Cool-Downs
In fact, a lot of sport-related injury admissions happen because athletes completely disregard workout safety measures. They have to realize the importance of regular stretching, warm-ups, and cool-downs. These exercises help to improve blood circulation and make muscles more flexible and resistant to different injuries and traumas. In other words, a proper preliminary and post-training routine can help athletes minimize the risk of strains, twists, or fractures, and prepare their body for intense training conditions. By neglecting this rule, on the other hand, they only hamper their performance and increase their chances to become the hospital’s patients.
Have a Thorough Health Examination
Any sport is closely connected with high-endurance exercises and injury risks. Therefore, it is in your best interests to make sure that there are no health-related traps and pitfalls. The majority of college sports programs require a full-body check-up to participate. However, it is a good idea to make physical examinations your regular routine. By keeping your health information updated you can avoid many undesirable medical conditions in the future, as well as adjust your workouts to your physical needs in the present.
Therefore, make it a habit to do check-ups with your physician once or twice a year. A good doctor can notice alarm symptoms before they can do significant damage, and prescribe you some support medications. Or help you balance your diet and choose some additional supplements such as Balance of Nature to keep yourself in good shape.
Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard
One of the greatest challenges for a student-athlete is allowing themselves enough rest and relaxation. In addition to loads of academic work that comes with college, there is also a huge personal desire of athletes to show their trainers how tough they are. Oftentimes, students choose to play through pain just to prove to their team and coach that they are worthy, goal-oriented, and strong.
According to Debby Mitchell, a Pro-papers sports medicine expert, however, “it is a one-way ticket to the subs’ bench where you never see the real game”. She insists that student-athletes should make their health a top priority; otherwise, they won’t be able to play at all. Therefore, a day off from workouts every now and then will help their body to recover and perform better next time.
“Students have to realize the difference between muscle soreness that comes after every heavy training and a real pain from the injury. The first one is a normal condition familiar to every athlete, and even here, I recommend athletes to take some recovery time. With injuries, it doesn’t work this way. By pushing hard, you only aggravate your condition and may end up banned from the sport for months,” she insists. Also be sure to check out this tesamorelin review as well.
To make it mentally easier, Mrs. Mitchell recommends to set up a schedule and include your rest time ahead. This way you’ll know when you need to work harder and when you can have your conscience clear for loafing.
Get Medical Help in Time
Although the chant “no pain, no gain” has gone viral nowadays, it is the worst advice that can be given to a college athlete. The only gain they should expect from following it is a more severe injury and, most likely, a long-lasting disability.
It’s clear that athletes should seek the soonest medical help to prevent serious damage and worsening of their condition. Therefore, should you notice any changes in how you perform or start feeling any unusual pain during or after a workout, it is a good enough reason to see the doctor.
Remember, that is easier to stay in control of your health today than treat bad outcomes tomorrow. Eat clean, drink enough clean water, and allow yourself to be human sometimes. But aside from keeping the athletes’ physical health at peak, it is also crucial to pay attention to their mental health.