Play Safe, Play Fair

Athletes, whether they are young or old, professional or amateur, are always looking to gain an advantage over their opponents. The desire for an “edge” exists in all sports, at all levels of play. Successful athletes rely on practice and hard work to increase their skill, speed, power, and ability. However, some athletes resort to drugs to improve their performance on the field or the court. You may have heard them called ‘roids, juice, hype, or pump.

Anabolic steroids are powerful drugs that many people take in high doses to boost athletic performance. Anabolic means “building body tissue. ” Anabolic steroids help build muscle tissue and increase body mass by acting like the body’s natural male hormone, testosterone. Lower doses of anabolic steroids sometimes are used to treat a handful of very serious medical conditions. They should not be confused with corticosteroids, which are used to treat common medical conditions such as asthma and arthritis.

Corticosteroids are strong medications, but do not have muscle-building effects. Anabolic steroids are the ones abused by athletes and others who want a shortcut to becoming bigger and stronger. Most commonly, steroid use can be found among the following groups: Athletes involved in sports that rely on strength and size, like football, wrestling, or baseball. Endurance athletes, such as those involved in track-and-field and swimming. Athletes involved in weight training or bodybuilding.

Anyone interested in building and defining muscles. Steroids can be taken in the following two ways: By mouth (pills), Injected with a needle (Athletes who share needles to inject steroids also are at risk for serious infections including Hepatitis B and HIV, the AIDS virus. ) . If you are serious about your sport and your health, keep the following tips in mind: Train safely, without using drugs. Eat a healthy diet. Get plenty of rest. Set realistic goals and be proud of yourself when you reach them.

Seek out training supervision, coaching, and advice from a reliable professional. Avoid injuries by playing safely and using protective gear. Talk to your pediatrician about nutrition, your health, preventing injury, and safe ways to gain strength. Success in sports takes talent, skill, and most of all, practice and hard work. Using steroids is a form of cheating and interferes with fair competition. More importantly, they are dangerous to your health. There are many healthy ways to increase your strength or improve your appearance.

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