5 Precautions to Prevent Injury in Taekwondo
If you are looking for a way to obtain optimal fitness and strength while practicing both discipline and concentration, adopting taekwondo as a hobby will help you to do so. The benefits of this Korean form of martial arts are plentiful, but there is one distinct downfall. Because taekwondo is largely physically demanding and incorporates just about every muscle group within the body, you may run the risk of a possible injury. However, you should not let the fear of getting hurt stop you from advancing your life with the art of taekwondo. Here are a few precautionary measures that can be taken to preserve both your body and safety.
Before participating in any physical activity, you should undergo a physical examination. During a physical exam, a doctor or specialist will examine your organs and vitals to ensure that you are physically well enough to engage in any sports or activities. If the physician feels that you are at an increased risk for injury or other complications due to any medical conditions or prior injuries, you will be alerted and given tips to assure your safety, medical prescriptions, or you may even receive advice against doing certain activities.
You always want to warm the body up before engaging in any physical activity, especially strenuous ones like taekwondo. A warm-up is a gentle preparation designed to ease the body into a more intense workout. During this phase, your heart rate will slightly increase and your muscles will warm-up so that they will be able to stretch out better.
As with all sports, stretching plays a vital role in your physical safety. A proper stretch following a warm-up will increase the body's range of motion and prevent muscle straining as well as promote flexibility. The more flexible you are, the more your body becomes resistant to injury.
Wear Proper Protective Gear
Whether you are a competing or practicing taekwondo, always be sure to be dressed in protective clothing. To guard your body and prevent possible fractures or bruising, you should equip yourself with a trunk protector, headgear, a mouthpiece, gloves, shin and forearm guards, and a groin area protector. This is especially true for younger martial artists — just because their bones are more flexible and less likely to break doesn't mean that they aren't susceptible to serious injuries. In fact, the flexibility that protects them from some injuries can cause serious harm in other ways. The skull in particular is softer and more sensitive in children than it is in adults.
Have Proper Supervision
It is a wise decision to only train under the supervision of an experienced teacher. Unless you feel that you have reached an expert status in taekwondo, you should always take direction from a knowledgeable instructor so that you will be alerted if you are exercising any unsafe practices.
Additionally, you should always keep a first aid kit handy just in case are ever wounded. Remember that most injuries can be prevented, and if you prepare properly, taekwondo can prove to be beneficial in all aspects of your life.
Just remember that included with all of this, proper diet and eliminating bad habits are essential as well. Forgetting to take proper care of yourself in other areas of your life can also make you more susceptible to injuries and other problems in taekwondo.