The 2014 Sochi Olympics games are in full swing, with Canadian athletes pursuing victory. The Olympics were created to promote peaceful competition amongst nations through sport while bringing people from different nations together to share in the celebration. As Canadians across the country take in the Olympics, many of them too enjoy the thrill, excitement and joy that sport can bring. However, as much fun as it may be, sport can be dangerous. So, in celebration of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, here are some ways you can enjoy your favourite sport while keeping safe. It is also a time to think of Sports Safety. Wear the right gear Making sure you have the right equipment and gear on is key to preventing sports injuries. This includes everything from helmets to elbow and knee pads. Even simple gear like wrist and ankle braces can make the slightest difference. Remember that each sport requires different gear to be worn and it’s important to adhere to those guidelines to prevent injuries. Warm up and stretch first Before taking part in any sport activity, even if it is going out for a quick run, remember to stretch and warm up first. Stretching allows for your muscles to warm up, gets your heart going and the blood flowing and helps to prevent injuries and sprains from occurring. Start by creating a warm up routine, 10-15 minutes longs, that stretches your muscles and gets the blood flowing. Drink lots of water Drinking lots of water during physical activity helps prevent dehydration from occurring. Keeping hydrated fuels your body and keeps you going. You can also keep hydrated through juice or sports drinks but water is your best bet. Tend to your injuries If you experience an injury during any physical activity, attend to it immediately. Delaying treatment can cause the injury to worsen over time. Allow for injuries to heal completely before taking part in any strenuous physical activity. Use ice packs to relieve swelling and use support bands for extra support. Avoid putting any pressure on the injured area and make sure to get a lot of rest. It’s also a good thing to get injuries examined by a doctor to get a full diagnosis. Learn the skills first Before getting into any physical activity, it’s important to learn the skills first. When playing any sport, there are certain skills that must be learned and mastered before that sport can be carried out. If not, you put yourself at a greater risk of getting a sports injury. Just like learning how to walk, swim or drive a car, it’s important to know the skills first in order to attain success. Get some R&R – Rest and relaxation Taking part in sports or any physical activity is good for your health and can make you feel energized. However, when partaking in any physical activity, it’s always good to remember to get some rest and relax. Taking the time out to get some rest and relaxation gives your body the time to recover from the strenuous physical activity. You don’t want to put a lot of strain on the body causing significant strain on your muscles and putting you at a higher risk for injuries. The time off will also give you a chance to better your game and tend to any injuries. From all of us here, wishing the Canadian athletes the best of luck.