Having a sports injury can be very painful, and it can take months to feel your normal self. That is why it is worth knowing what can increase the risk of getting injured while trying to keep fit, and how you can avoid it. 

If you throw yourself into playing five-a-side football without regularly participating in exercise, you are more likely to do yourself some harm. 

Anyone who is not particularly active and suddenly puts their body through a vigorous physical challenge, whether that is a 5km run, an intense HIIT workout, or a tough session at the gym, has a greater chance of injuring themselves as their body is not used to it. 

It is essential to warm up the body properly before working out, especially if you are stiff and need to stretch out those muscles. 

Without doing this, you put your body at risk, as warming up increases heart rate and, therefore, pumps blood around more quickly. This allows oxygen to reach the muscles, so they are able to recover better from the exercise. 

It also improves the connections between nerves and muscles, which makes movement more efficient and your body more flexible. Therefore, you are less likely to become injured as you are not as stiff. 

Playing contact sports also increases the risk of getting a sports injury, as there is a chance you can be knocked over, tripped up, or fall on to the ground. 

Sprains, strains, dislocations and even fractures are common in sports like football, rugby, boxing, American football, ice hockey, and martial arts. 

Therefore, if you want to avoid getting injured, it is best to dodge these types of sports, warm up properly before working out, and slowly increase activity over time.

If you do become injured, a sports massage can speed up recovery, helping you get back in the gym, or on the court or field in no time. 

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