Injuries are a part of life, if you are an athlete you have likely had to manage a few injuries, but even if you aren’t an athlete – chances are there’s been an injury or two over the years. It’s important to note that it’s not only athletes that hurt themselves, in fact: as we age we become more and more likely to be injured from NOT exercising.
So, injuries are an annoying part of life that we will all have to manage through at some point.
Here is how I manage my own and my clients injuries:
#1 – DON’T PANIC!
You won’t be injured forever and you can absolutely find ways to keep training through your injury
#2 – Don’t Stop Exercising!
You have so many body parts, even if your injury needs to be left alone to heal there are a million exercises for the rest of your body that you CAN do. If you are healing well you should be able to slowly start adding movements to strengthen around the injury which you can slowly progress over time. In fact learning to exercise around an injury and through the healing process will teach you to move better, likely help you work on improving your movement patterns and will dramatically reduce your chances of re- injury.
Usually when people stop exercising to deal with an injury they reinjure themselves as soon as they start back – this is obviously incredibly frustrating and often people will drop out of exercise altogether because they associate moving their bodies with getting injured.
Of course, when working around an injury, it’s incredibly important to have a knowledgeable fitness professional to help you. The professional can help guide you to ensure you aren’t causing further damage or pushing through acute pain. Shameless plug: my team of trainers are THE BEST! Did you know that we bring in a pile of specialists to train them every year – including athletic therapists and physios? LYB is a great place to recover your injuries with great support. Please remember to communicate with your fitness pros so they can help you recover from your injury, and then progress towards your goals.
#3 – Find Your Team!
Building a supportive team of experts to support your injury recovery is key. I recommend a manual practitioner or two – this could include a chiropractor, osteopathic practitioner, registered massage therapist, and/or physiotherapist. Seek out therapists that are athletes themselves and are used to working on athletes. They know how to keep you moving AND keep you healing, in fact they will all tell you that movement is the key to healing! At LYB we LOVE referring our clients to great practitioners who will also communicate with us about what you need while you recover! So make sure you connect us to them and forward all of the exercises they give you over to us!
#4 – Be Patient!
Healing and recovery takes time – it always takes much longer than we would like. Try not to get frustrated about modifying your workouts – modifying them is what allows you to continue to train while you heal and will keep you strong and fit for when you are ready to go hard again.
#5 – Commit to Doing Your Physio Exercises.
No matter how great your physio is – you will not improve without doing the work. Some of our clients need us to do their physio with them to make sure it happens so that they can recover. Use whatever support you need so that you can successfully do the work to recover!
#6 – Recover!
Recovery is an incredibly important part of everyone’s fitness program. We all need real rest days built into every week – I recommend 2-3 rest days per week with 1-2 days per week being “active” rest days (walking, yoga, easy cycle – stuff that doesn’t get your HR too high or use your muscles too hard). Chronic injuries are often a result of too much work and not enough rest. Exercise creates muscle damage, when they heal the muscle gets stronger, if you don’t rest – the muscle can’t heal. Over time this could cause the muscles to get weaker and more prone to injury.
#7 – Fuel your Body!
This goes along with point #6. Our tissue requires the proper fuel to heal and get stronger. Athletes who strength train should eat about a gram of protein per lbs of body weight. And although over-eating overly processed food is not recommended, eating 2-3 servings of good quality nutrient dense carbs is ESSENTIAL to being able to exercise and recover. (Endurance athletes and anyone who trains more than an hour in a day will need significantly more than that.) So plan your food, a little carb before a workout and a carb + protein right after along with 3-4 good quality meals (and don’t forget a few yummy delicious treats every week) is the recipe for success!
If you are injured: come talk to me, I promise I can help you connect with some really great practitioners who can help with your recovery AND help you to safely exercise while you heal!
Contact us here for a free consult.