Prevention of injury in sports activities means achieving more benefits from the exercise while minimising the risk of injury. It should be a priority for athletes as well as health professionals. We can all increase the ratio of benefit to risk by remembering a few simple rules.

1. Warm-up prepares the body for exercise and it should never be omitted. It consists of general exercises and specific ones for the movements particular to the activity. Warm up increases the blood flow to muscles which also means more effective oxygenation of the muscles. It increases nerve sensitivity and speed of nerve conduction. The range of motion in the joints is also greatly improved.
That also means fewer injuries and less stiffness in the muscles and joints, increased cardiovascular response which, in turn, leads to increased athletic performance, increased relaxation, concentration and neuromuscular control.
A well designed warm-up program can reduce the risk of injury by up to 50% , according to major studies.

2. Flexibility is a very important component of health. It can prevent injury and improve performance. We distinguish a few different kinds of stretching among which the static stretching is the safest way of increasing muscle flexibility. The position is brought slowly and held for a duration of 30-60 seconds. At first the athlete will feel a pull as the muscle protects itself. After about 20 seconds it starts to relax and this allows for further progression in the position. It should be comfortable and pain-free.

3. Another important aspect for preventing an injury is taping and bracing. It is especially important in athletes who have had a previous injury as it has been proven to prevent re-injury. The common joints to be taped are the ankle, acromioclavicular joint (on your shoulder), wrist joint and fingers. The tape should provide support but not restrict the movements. The injured ligaments should be held in a shortened position. The brace is initially a more expensive solution but it can be put on by the athlete and is more appropriate for treating specific knee or wrists injuries, for example.

4. Equipment is also very important, for example, well fitted running shoes as poorly designed ones will affect the rest of your body

5. To make progress you need to perform at grater intensity and volume. The principles are not to put too much excessive load on the body and give it enough adaptation time. It is also very important to give adequate recovery time in order to achieve the desired training effect.

6. A combination of different types of training improves strength, endurance, prioprioception, flexibility and helps to strengthen all aspects of the body.

7. Loss of concentration can also predispose the Athlete to injury by giving them too little time to react to emerging situations.

8. Good nutrition will ensure better recovery after the heavy load of exercise. The most important factors for recovery are adequate protein intake and hydration of the body. Lacking in essential minerals can also predispose the Athlete to cartilage damage, and increased susceptibility to muscular injury.

9. Last but not least are biomechanical problems. When the body does not function in an ergonomical manner, it uses too much energy to perform the activity and puts more stress on the body parts predisposed to injury. Those misalignments should be identified early and corrected by a health professional to assure the safe and efficient physical activity.