Though basketball is a fun way to get exercise, it could be dangerous for some people. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that in 2009, more than 500,000 people visited American emergency rooms with basketball-related injuries . Here are a few pieces of advice that can help you stay on the court and out of the emergency room:

Warm Up and Stretch

Many basketball injuries occur because players forget to warm up and stretch beforehand. Cold, tight muscles are much more susceptible to sprains and strains than warm, loose muscles. Before you start stretching, spend five minutes warming up your body by running, walking, or doing jumping jacks. After breaking a sweat, stretch your quads, Achilles tendons, hamstrings, and arm muscles. Experts recommend spending at least 30 seconds on each stretch.

Don’t Overtax Yourself

Even if you remember to stretch , you can still suffer an injury if you push yourself too hard. Thousands of people suffer injuries every year because they’re not realistic about their level of fitness. Getting in shape doesn’t happen overnight—you need to gradually increase the intensity your workout over time. If you’re feeling exhausted during a game of basketball, take a break. Remember to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout.

Don’t Play Aggressively

Some basketball injuries are inflicted by other players, whether intentional or not. To reduce your chances of suffering an injury caused by another player, refrain from playing too aggressively. If you have a disagreement about a certain call, let it go. Remember, it’s just a game—the goal of which is to improve your health, not put it at risk.

If you suffer an injury on the court, make an appointment with Able Orthopedic & Sports Medicine . Our orthopedic surgeons have been providing the people of Queens with high-quality care for over 20 years. Call (347) 537-2404 to set up a consultation and find out which treatment option is best for your injury.

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