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I played soccer from grade school through high school, but am now 31 years old and haven't played since then, nor been very active at all.

Recently I decided to join an indoor soccer team and was wondering how to condition myself to best prevent injury (especially to my knees and ankles)?

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You should start excising atleast a week before you start playing. Since its been so long since you played, your knees and muscles would be a little rusty. You might want to stretch them out. Don't just start playing one fine day, trust me, you will have to endure a lot of pain and discomfort after the game.

  1. Take it slow

Start by getting up in the morning and walking a few miles. Then start jogging. Get those knees and muscles to stretch. Do a few basic exercises, like a few push-ups and crutches. Stretch your arms and do a bit of arm and neck rotations.

  1. Start playing for short periods

Don't play for a very long time. Play for 10-15 minutes for you initial game. You can gradually increase the duration once your body adjusts to the action.

  1. Never forget to re-hydrate

Your body will tend to sweat out a lot and you could be severely dehydrated. So drink water and have electrolytes.

  1. Talk to your team and your opponents

Being careful is always a good option. Don't hesitate to tell you team and your opponents to take it easy as you have not played for a long time. You don't want them sliding for the ball at your feet.

  1. Always stay safe

Don't forget your shin guard and your basic protections. Wear good boots and proper jersey material.

  1. Don't hesitate to call it a day

You should stop playing whenever you don't feel all that good. Don't push your body to play longer. Your body might not have enough juice to go on with the game any longer.

These tips should help you. Always consult an expert, say a football coach closer to your age or a football physician. Stay safe, stay active. And there's nothing better than football.

  • 1
    I'm way older than 31 and stretching and warming up have become a lot more important. Before practice and games I really warm up and then stretch out. It helps a lot. – Val Jan 15 '16 at 18:51
  • yeah...warming up is always important, irrespective of the age. – Varun Nair Jan 16 '16 at 5:29

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