With the NBA set to return on Christmas day, sports injury specialists are wondering if the lockout will lead to an increased number of player injuries. While many players probably remained diligent during this extended off-season, it's very likely that some did not stay consistent in their conditioning.

If you're active in sports, it's important to keep fit during your off-season, and even between games. Strong muscles help support your joints, which prevents injury during sports or forceful impact while playing. Here are some things you can do to stay fit during a long off-season:

  • Join recreational sports leagues to stay in shape. Bringing a friend will make it even more fun!
  • Go to the gym regularly and continue working out. Again, bring a friend for accountability.
  • Wear knee braces, ankle braces, elbow braces, etc. - give your joints extra support depending on what's appropriate for your sport.

Not only can these tips help you perform at your best when it counts, but they may help you stay healthier too!