High-impact exercises are the ones that necessarily require taking your feet off the ground to be performed. They need the biggest strength since when carrying out activities such as jumping or running, a person can exert a force that triples their body weight. Some examples of this type of sport are tennis, paddle tennis, squash, and, of course, American football.
Since these sports exert a lot of force on the bones, joints, back, and, in general, on the entire body, they make it more likely to suffer injuries of all kinds. For this reason, before practicing a high-impact sport, you should learn several safety tips to take care of each part of your body and get the most out of the exercise.
Within the sports world, some people endorse the multiple benefits that this type of exercise has. But some detractors consider that it can contribute to causing some problems in the joints and muscles. Here you can learn more about how these types of exercises work and what you should keep in mind when practicing them.
High-Impact Sports and the Knees
Experts have carried out numerous studies to find out what effect or impact high-impact sports have on the knees. The findings of the investigations were surprising. The researchers hypothesized that people who ran would have more degeneration in the knee joint. In one of the studies, they followed two groups for 20 years: one of runners and the other of sedentary people. The result was that the knees of the two groups had no significant differences in wear or incidence of osteoarthritis.
High-Impact Sports and the Spine
Another of the existing main fears regarding high-impact sports is the negative effect that this could have on the spine. This aspect has also been the subject of much research. In these studies, it has been observed that sports such as basketball, soccer, or running do not negatively affect the spine’s health. On the contrary, it was seen that after practicing these sports, the height of the vertebral discs had increased, and there was a better degree of hydration.
So Can High-Impact Sport Hurt You?
Well, like almost everything in life, the answer is it depends. The reality is that you must face the impact on your joints every day. Whether it is walking, dancing, or sitting. In short, when doing any daily activity. Your body adapts to impact, so it is not something you have to avoid.
However, if you increase the amount of impact quickly or do not make a logical progression, it is possible to injure yourself. We are not invincible machines, and each body has its limitations. In addition, if there is an injury or pathology in your body, it must be assessed to find out what amount of impact is appropriate and what types of exercises are proper for you.
Benefits of Practicing High-Impact Sports
- It prevents cardiovascular diseases. For example, cardio exercises promote cell and heart oxygenation.
- They prevent diseases such as diabetes since they help to eliminate the fat accumulated in the organs and arteries. This increases the improvement of blood pressure.
- It Reduces stress and anxiety processes by increasing endorphin levels.
Dangers of High-Impact Sports
- The most severe problems caused by high-impact sports occur when you practice them excessively or abusively.
- They can cause degenerations and ruptures in the menisci or the ligaments and generate knee problems due to friction, such as tendonitis or pain in the foot area.
- They tend to cause muscle pain if not performed correctly and with expert supervision. It is necessary to stretch after exercise to avoid possible problems and reduce the risk of muscle pain.
Recommendations for Practicing High-impact Sports
Wear Comfortable and Appropriate Clothing
As previously mentioned, high-impact sports involve jumping, contact, running, and other types of movement. So while playing tennis, football, squash, or any other such sport, you want to feel comfortable, and clothing should always stay in place. For example, at Arc’teryx, you can get appropriate clothing for different types of physical activity.
So how to recognize the appropriate clothing for your type of sport? If possible, get garments that fit the body without being uncomfortable, and that allow you to run, jump and receive impacts without going up or down. It is also recommended to buy clothing made of fabric that allows perspiration and dries after you sweat or get wet quickly.
Wearing appropriate footwear also helps minimize the risk of injury. In many stores, you will find shoes that absorb part of the force generated in high-impact exercises. It is also advisable to combine these activities with other sports that are low impact, for example, swimming.
Take the Necessary Precautions
Although the most recent studies indicate the benefits of high-impact exercises in the regeneration and strengthening of bone mass, the generated force needs you to practice these activities with great caution to avoid injuries since it is frequent that these exercises cause cartilage, knee, and ligament injuries. To prevent this, you should warm up before exercising. As well as stretching afterward.
Do Not Do It If You Already Have an Injury
If you are recovering from an injury or resuming sports activity after a long period without exercise, avoid high-impact sports. This type of activity requires minimal physical fitness and if you are a beginner, it is better to start with a low-impact sport. If you prefer a high one, remember that you should always start the activity with due precautions, increasing your effort progressively.
High-impact sports can be quite beneficial for your health if you do it under the right conditions. This type of activity can affect the joints or ligaments if it is done incorrectly, so to avoid any problems, try to gradually increase the intensity, warm up before and after exercising, and wear the right sportswear. Also, avoid doing it if you currently have an injury. Start exercising, and you will enjoy incredible benefits for your health and well-being.