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The injuries sustained by athletes can pose a serious threat to the career of these people. The critical task is to develop and adopt effective strategies that can minimize the risk of such events or at least reduce their effect on the performance of an athlete. This paper will focus on the use of yoga and soft exercises as the techniques that can be useful in achieving this goal. In particular, one should focus on the physiological effects of these exercises.
Much attention should also be paid to the psychological benefits that these practices can bring to athletes. Finally, it is necessary to discuss the financial costs and impacts of injury-preventing methods. Overall, yoga and soft exercises can be helpful in minimizing the risk of various traumas and relieving the stress experienced by professional athletes.
Professional athletes are more exposed to the risk of different traumas and injuries; to some degree, this threat is an inherent part of their work. Nevertheless, researchers and medical workers argue that many of these problems are preventable (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017). Moreover, their adverse effects can be reduced if proper precautions are taken (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017). To a large degree, the success of professional athletes depends on their ability to use appropriate injury-preventing methods.
Yoga is one of the alternatives that athletes and coaches should consider. It should be mentioned that some benefits of this approach have been confirmed by researchers. For example, one can refer to the research carried out by Polsgrove, Eggleston, and Lockyer (2016) who argue that the use of these exercises is critical for increasing the flexibility of muscles. These scholars report that yoga enhances muscle torque which is useful in avoiding different injuries (Polsgrove et al., 2016).
Moreover, it helps people to alleviate pain in low back and reduce muscle soreness (Polsgrove et al., 2016). The authors also point out that yoga can assist athletes in increasing shoulder flexibility, knee bend, and hip extension (Polsgrove et al., 2016). One should mention that yoga incorporates a variety of soft exercises that are needed for stretching tendons and muscles. To some degree, they can increase a person’s preparedness for various situations that sometimes result in injuries.
The beneficial impacts of yoga on the physical health of a person are described by other researchers. For instance, in their book, Kisner, Colby, and Borstad (2017) recommend yoga as one of the techniques for managing the symptoms of pain caused by injuries. Moreover, the exercise incorporated in yoga can assist patients who struggle with chronic pain (Kisner et al., 2017). This is why athletes should incorporate these approaches into their daily practices. In this way, they can shield themselves against the threat of many injuries.
There are other advantages that yoga can offer professional athletes; in particular, it can help them overcome stress. Yoga should not be viewed only as a set of physical exercises; it is also a technique for coping with anxiety, depression, and stress (Patil, Mullur, Khodnapur, Dhanakshirur, & Aithala, 2013). Each of these problems can have a detrimental impact on the performance of athletes. These people continuously have to meet high expectations set by coaches; therefore, they are more exposed to the risk of different mental problems (Patil et al., 2013). This aspect of yoga is also critical for addressing the problem of injuries.
According to the findings of researchers, stress is one of the factors that determine people’s physical wellbeing (Heidari et al., 2016). For instance, it can impair the work of a person’s immune system (Heidari et al., 2016). Furthermore, this psychological problem can impact athletes’ perception of pain (Heidari et al., 2016). As a rule, it intensifies the pain experienced by an individual (Heidari et al., 2016). Moreover, these experiences usually only slow down the process of recovery. Thus, people, who want to succeed as professional athletes, should be able to avoid such experiences.
In its turn, yoga incorporates several techniques that are helpful in reducing the feeling of anxiety. There is statistically significant evidence indicating that this practice can influence different autonomic processes that lead to stress (Patil et al., 2013). This goal is usually achieved with the help of different breathing exercises. To a great extent, yoga can have a placebo effect on the physical health of an athlete. It should be mentioned that the emphasis on physical and psychological states of an individual is an important strength of yoga. This practice can help athletes cope with the impacts of injuries and accelerate recovery.
While discussing the problem of injuries, one should also speak about the socio-economic factors affecting the behavior of professional athletes. As a rule, they sign contracts with professional teams. According to these agreements, the compensation received by athletes is partly dependent on their performance. Furthermore, these people are obliged to lead healthy lifestyles and take reasonable precautions against injuries.
It is also critical to remember that a serious trauma can threaten the entire athletic career of a person. Due to these reasons, he/she is motivated to take precautions that can minimize the risk of injuries. It is important to mention that the adoption of injury-preventing techniques may necessitate some costs. For instance, athletes and coaches will have to hire a professional instructor who will design exercises for the needs of an athlete. Nevertheless, these expenses can be justified because they are required for avoiding the losses caused by serious injuries. In its turn, yoga is one of the strategies that can assist athletes in avoiding injuries.
One has to acknowledge that yoga is not the only injury-preventing technique that should be considered by athletes and their coaches. It is only one of the methods that can supplement other interventions developed by therapists. However, this approach should not be disregarded because there is substantial evidence indicating that this practice can bring valuable benefits (Polsgrove et al., 2016; Patil et al., 2013). Providing that coaches combine different technique, they can obtain positive results. This strategy will critical for avoiding preventable injuries or making them more manageable.
The prevention of injuries is one of the top priorities for professional athletes and coaches. These people should take measures that can reduce the probability of such events or at least minimize their effects on a person. The use of yoga and soft exercise can help them attain these objectives. The findings of researchers suggest that these practices can increase the fitness of muscles and tendons. Additionally, they are helpful in reducing painful symptoms experienced by athletes. It is important to remember that the contracts signed by these people impel them to adopt healthy lifestyles. The adoption of injury-preventing methods may necessitate some costs; however, such costs are fully justified.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017). Sports and recreation-related injuries. Web.
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Heidari, J., Mierswa, T., Kleinert, J., Ott, I., Levenig, C., Hasenbring, M., & Kellmann, M. (2016). Parameters of low back pain chronicity among athletes: Associations with physical and mental stress. Physical Therapy in Sport, 21, 31-37.
Kisner, P., Colby, L. A., & Borstad, J. (2017). Therapeutic exercise: Foundations and techniques (7th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company.
Patil, S.G., Mullur, L.M., Khodnapur, J.P., Dhanakshirur, G.B., & Aithala, M.R. (2013). Effect of yoga on short-term heart rate variability measure as a stress index in subjunior cyclists: A pilot study. Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 57(2), 153-158.
Polsgrove, M., Eggleston, B., & Lockyer, R. (2016). Impact of 10-weeks of yoga practice on flexibility and balance of college athletes. International Journal of Yoga, 9(1), 27-34.