While sports offer some of the best ways to get in shape and exercise, they can also be dangerous. Many athletes suffer from injuries that require arthroscopic knee surgery, back rehabilitation, and continuing physical therapy exercises, to name a few. Each sport comes with particular risks, and athletes are usually fully aware of them before they engage in the sport of their choice.
But there are ways to help these athletes stay healthy, making it essential for teams to hire certified athletic trainers to travel with the team, and work with the players on a regular basis.
Here are three of the main benefits of having certified athletic trainers.
- Preventative Measures. These professionals are trained in how the body functions, and the best ways to keep bones and muscles safe during play. They will know the appropriate safety gear to wear to prevent injury, and can offer valuable advice to players who get hurt more frequently. As licensed trainers, they guide players to do particular exercises to keep their limbs, back, neck and shoulders loose and agile, and also advise them on how to ice or heat any inflammation back to normal.
- Nutrition. With a trainer, a team also has access to important nutritional information to maximize body strength and stamina. Trainers are required to hold at least a bachelor’s degree in athletic training, and to obtain this, they must complete courses in human physiology and anatomy, as well as emergency care, and nutrition. This gives athletic trainers a broad knowledge of how certain foods function in the body, and how they can affect an athlete’s performance. The advice they give players can enhance training, and improve their overall energy levels.
- Reduced Recovery Time.As well as knowing exactly which exercises can prevent injury, certified athletic trainers also know how to quickly get an athlete back on his or her feet after an injury. For example, after arthroscopic shoulder surgery, a trainer can work with a player outside of a physical therapy clinic to strengthen muscles surrounding the shoulder to decrease the recovery time. The right exercises can aid the healing process, helping athletes return to the field or court sooner and stronger than they expected, giving their team the best chance at winning.
Sports continue to cause thousands of injuries every year, making the case for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report that athletic trainer jobs will grow 13% by 2020. With the help of these trainers, athletes can give their all, knowing that there is a well-trained professional to help them.