As football fever hits the nation, Brits up and down the country are getting ready for football to come home. If you’ve been inspired to hit the pitch, the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) has shared its top tips to avoid any aches or pains from getting between you and your hopes of kicking it with the best of them.
The BCA’s top tips for better football health:
- Warm up – Taking just a few minutes to warm up properly before a football match will prepare your body for exercise and reduce your risk of injury. Try adding some dynamic stretching into your warm-up routines. High leg swings and high knee kicks are a great way to get your leg muscles moving.
- Ease yourself into match life – If you are new to the world of football, make sure you ease your body into each game. Overexertion and fatigue are two of the most common causes of injury, so instead of playing a full 90 minutes, enjoy a shorter five-a-side style game.
- Keep hydrated and energised –If you’re planning to take part in a game of football in warmer months, it’s a good idea to keep hydrated and have a bottle of water by your side. This will help you stay energised and active throughout the game, allowing you to perform at your best.
- Keep it loose – Make sure your clothing is loose and comfortable whilst providing you with support where required – especially for your feet! When playing football, it is important to remember you’ll been on your feet for a long period of time, so take your time when you’re deciding which shoes are the right shoes for you.
- Respect Injuries – If you’re experiencing significant pain during or after playing, seek advice from a chiropractor or another health professional. Common injuries in football include pulled hamstrings, quads and sprained ankles. Whilst this may not necessarily mean you need to stop playing, might be time to temporarily reduce your load and allow your body time to heal.
- Cool down – Just as important as the warm up is the cool down! Whether you’ve been playing for a full 90 minutes or a shorter five-a-side game, it’s always important to stretch out your body. Put aside 10-15 minutes for a thorough cool down, incorporating both low-intensity cardiovascular exercise and stretching your lower limbs thoroughly.